The BEAMBLOG

Friday, April 20, 2018

April 20 Livestream Recap


“The future for NWN:EE is very exciting!” ~ Trent
Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle shared the latest Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, Infinity Engine and Beamdog news during today’s livestream.

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

  • Our Infinity Engine titles are on the GOG Most Wanted sale. Save up to 80% off games, DLC, and soundtracks!
  • The Baldur’s Gate: Faces of Good and Evil portrait pack is now available on GOG. The portrait pack will come to beamdog.com along with a refreshed website.
  • The Baldur’s Gate: Complete Saga bundle is now available on the App Store. The Complete Saga bundles together Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, Siege of Dragonspear, and Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition into one fantastic package! A similar offer is not available on Android as Google Play doesn’t yet have app bundle features.
  • We’re still hiring! We’re looking for people with console and controller experience! Keep an eye on our job page for updated listings.
  • The 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition are still in the works. We plan to have the final 2.5 updates start rolling out towards the end of this month.
Run, Phil, run!
  • We released a new development build for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition this week. v8168 focuses on bug-fixing and brings a few new features. Among other things, movie playback on case-sensitive file systems (Linux) and languages with mismatching case movie files has been fixed. SDL has been updated to fix more of the remaining window handling/fullscreen issues. The multiplayer server browser now default-sorts by player count, descending. Check out the full notes for the build here.
  • We’re in close contact with Intel about crashing issues in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition related to Intel Integrated GPU. Hopefully in collaboration with Intel we’ll be able to solve the problem.
  • We’ve had conversations internally about the rate “remains” spawn in NWN:EE. We’ll look into how it can be improved.
Sometimes during livestreams Phil jumps in NWN:EE persistent servers. Catch him in the game!
  • There’s stuff in the works for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition we’re not ready to announce yet. If you’re interested in certain features you would like to see in NWN:EE, suggest them on our forums and vote on the Input Trello board. If you encounter a bug, please report it on our bug tracker.
  • A new Toolset for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is built in the new version of C++ builder. We’re modifying the Toolset and adding support for new graphics while in the same time making sure everything works fine. One of the things we’ve played with is the Toolset’s ability to open unpacked modules. You need to have it unpacked in a directory the same name as the .mod file (without the .mod extension). We hope a lot of options for modders will be possible with this feature!
  • Check out 48 new sample Great Axe models just uploaded to the Steam Workshop. Now the Great Axe models from Neverwinter Nights support normal and spec information. All of these pieces are modular and can be mixed and matched, showing what can be done when normal and spec information is applied to weapons.

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

April 13 Livestream Recap


The team is hard at work on making NWN:EE better.
Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle shared the latest Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and Infinity Engine news. Phil played Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition and NWN:EE, while Trent shared stories from the industry.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch!

Here's a quick summary of the highlights from the livestream:

  • One year ago we launched Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition. Watch this livestream video with Chris Avellone playing the game and sharing insights about its development.
  • We’re actively hiring! If you’re a technical artist wanting to working on classic D&D titles, we want to talk to you! We are also interested in C++ programmers and more! Check out the Beamdog career page!
  • Development build 8167 went out for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition last week testing a fix for the Multiplayer 2x UI and an increase to the maximum number of characters that can be used in player names.
  • The team are busy on the next patch for NWN:EE. We’re putting a lot of work into fixing the Intel Integrated CPU-related crashes and other issues on Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
  • We are updating our SDL to better support forward compatibility. We believe this may fix issues with using full screen in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Linux and Mac.
  • The Neverwinter Nights Toolset has a new compiler. Soon we’ll be able to show what it looks like.
  • Custom classes and spellbooks is one of the things we want to open up in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. Working with the NWN Extender, we’ll make it possible.


Cutters, have you played Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition yet?
  • We pushed a new beta build for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition last week. Check out the full patch notes here.
  • The full 2.5 patches (for BG:EE, BGII:EE and IWD:EE) are still on course. We plan to start shipping them out this month. One of the reasons these updates have taken so long is the amount of features and fixes they include, which has kept growing based on players’ feedback. Going forward, stability, compatibility and not breaking stuff will be the main principles for Infinity Engine Enhanced Editions post-2.5 update.


Pathfinding, dynamic scaling, and other improvements for NWN:EE are at works.
  • We’re looking into how we can enable dynamic scaling for UI in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
  • Trent said he would personally dig into releasing design documents on Neverwinter Nights for all players and modders.
  • There’s “a monster” behind the current 16k resource limitation for no-hak servers in NWN:EE. We will look into it to see how it can be improved.
  • Working on sound issues during the NWN:EE development is a nightmare. It will take a while to fix them fully, but we intend to do so.
  • We’re slowly stepping through updating Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition to 64-bit. We’re also looking at how it can help to realize a few of community requests.
  • Inventory access for henchmen in the Original Campaign of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is something we want to enable. We’ll work closely with our designers on the way there.
  • Let us know your thoughts on skills, feats, mechanics and prestige classes you want to see in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. Get involved in the community, we’re paying close attention!

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

Friday, April 6, 2018

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition 2.5 Beta Update



Attention Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition players! The 2.5 Update Beta for BG:EE has just been updated on Steam and Beamdog to v2.5.15.1! 

Please note that this beta update will temporarily bring the beta version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition out of line with Siege of Dragonspear. This will be addressed in a future update.

An update to the beta currently available on Google Play will be coming soon. iOS specific issues will be applied on that platform when the full update is released. 

Localization
  • Hungarian is now available to players without Siege of Dragonspear installed.
Features
  • Jaheira should recognize Seniyad during the encounter with Aldeth (35189)
  • There should be a conclusion to the vial of mysterious liquid found in the Nashkel Mines (35148)
  • Kivan should interject when you encounter Tazok at the bandit camp (35147)
  • Branwen should interject when confronting Tranzig in Beregost (35121)
  • Yeslick should confront Rieltar in the Candlekeep Library (35102)
  • You should be able to finish Kagain's caravan quest (35003)
  • Eldoth's special ability should create one stack of five arrows (34652)
  • Shoal the Nereid should not kill Player1 (34275)
  • You should be able to interact with Entar at his estate in NW Baldur's Gate (35176)
Bug Fixes
  • The camera should follow Gorion and charname at the start of the ambush cutscene (33633)
  • Custom party members that have been kicked out of the party should be able to rejoin (33526)
  • Dialogue between Rasaad and Gamaz in OH3100 should be correct (34811)
  • Journal entry should be erased when returning to Joseph's wife (34732)
  • [Journal] A Hidden Base in the Cloakwood quest should not be given after chapter 4 ends (34695)
  • Pregenerated characters should not have a class description in place of their biography (34545)
  • Prism's emeralds should be placed in each eye in the statue he created (34442)
  • Shapeshifter werewolf should use correct weapon icon (34436)
  • [BGEE]Shapeshift abilities "Magic Item" animal paw icons should not be dispelled (34434)
  • Investigating the Nashkel Mines quest should not re-open if you speak to a miner after killing Mulahey (34345)
  • Importing a character should not remove that characters class description when importing further characters (34308)
  • Rededge should accompany Narlen during his thief quests (34303)
  • Camera should follow Garrick and the Protagonist as they walk over to Silke (34209)
  • Mendas should pay an increased reward if he has mentioned doing so (34190)
  • [Android] Paladin Lay on Hands icon should not be missing (34169)
  • Dorn should talk about the death of Kryll even if he was killed before her (34022)
  • Bard song should remove panic visualisation (33905)
  • Dragon Disciple constitution should be correct on import (33813)
  • Chat messages should not appear twice in the dialog box (33809)
  • Commoner near Rasaad should not have nothing to say to you when talked to (33795)
  • [Journal] Important events should never be marked as "finished" (33782)
  • [Journal] "Khalid and Jaheira" and "Xzar and Montaron" quest entries should not be removed upon finishing (33781)
  • The Dispel Magic effect of Bala's Axe, AX1H07, should not be drained when found (33756)
  • Neera should not be able to die in the first encounter in Beregost (33755)
  • The Archer's Called Shot ability should have the correct description icon (33748)
  • Trap spells should go off instantly when they are approached. (33597)
  • [Journal] Entry for Neera's romance should be added to the journal (33510)
  • [Journal] "Tutorial" quest in journal during tutorial should show the entry (33509)
  • [Journal] "Kivan and Tazok" journal entry should appear in journal (33508)
  • [Journal] Quest for Montaron & Xzar wishing to travel to Nashkel should not be permanently open if they are recruited in chapter two (33503)
  • [Journal] Quest for Khalid & Jaheira wishing to travel to Nashkel should not be permanently open if they are recruited in chapter two (33502)
  • [Journal] Journal entries should be correct if you trigger chapter two by going to the Carnival instead of Nashkel (33498)
  • The save buttons should not be cut off (33497)
  • Turning off story mode should not give the "Godlike" achievement (32773)
  • Number of inventory slots in loot window should not be higher than actual number of inventory slots (32603)
  • Character portraits should appear correctly on save files (32601)
  • Modifiers from equipped items should not affect base THAC0 on Record Information screen (32572)
  • [iOS] Tapping on the Area Map UI should not move the area selection cursor (31981)
  • Branwen's name should not be displayed as "Statue" after she is rescued (31427)
  • Priest of Tyr, Exaltation should remove and prevent intoxication (31408)
  • [iOS] Message box for being unable to save and associated interactive button graphics should not be cut off (31311)
  • THUNDER3.WAV should not be corrupt and crash the game (31264)
  • Journal entry for rescuing Neera should be posted to the journal (25271)
  • Health bars over creature avatars should always appear during combat (24163)
  • [TBP] The correct title screen should show after party death (23990)
  • [Rasaad] You should get an entry in the journal after recruiting Rasaad (23976)
  • [Rasaad] Sorrem should teleport with the party (23975)
  • [BP] Melee characters should not show fists equipped on the Game screen (23818)
  • Empty spaces should not be shown when opening container with full inventory (23755)
  • There should not be a console error when un-memorizing mage spell (23754)
  • Containers in shops should not be greyed out (23735)
  • Cancel button on Quit Game dialogue should always work (23650)
  • [Multiplayer] Skipping Gorion's death should not see client characters left near Gorion (23391)
  • Characters should only level up when they have sufficient experience to do so (21371)
  • Shaman should not indicate boredom during dance (21287)
  • Export of character should be successful when overwriting an existing character file (11066)
  • Fist icon should not be larger than the item slot (6116)
  • Sparring dummies should not move when bumped (34329)
  • [Console] Remove areas that are not usable from the console list (34193)
  • Feldepost Inn Cook's dialogue should appear in a regular full chat window instead only appearing in the small combat log window (33844)
  • Diggers in archaeological site should not have their dialogues exhausted (33628)
  • The donation amount should be correctly aligned on the temple donation screen (31373)
  • Loading a save should not produce a double click action (31124)
  • Bounty Hunter should display Set Traps skill bonus on the Skills screen during character creation (2015)
  • Drinking a Vial of Mysterious Liquid should indicate constitution has been permanently reduced (34431)
  • Greenstone Amulet removes Kiel's helmet's protection for morale failure (34489)
  • Pixie Dust's description should be accurate (34506)
  • COMPS01.item (NPC undroppable Bastard Sword) can break from Iron Crisis but inventory weapon still drops (34512)
  • Enemy Mages should not cast spells while under the effect of Horror (34607)
  • Nahal's Reckless Dweomer should not work with sequencers (34637)
  • [Journal] Journal entry after Dorn is kicked out of party should be added to the journal (34648)
  • [Journal] Entry for Neera's romance should be added to the journal (34649)
  • Items such as Goodberry should not show two charge numbers (34696)
  • Vultures should not produce invalid strings when string references are enabled (34719)
  • [Multiplayer] Client camera should not show the same area of every map whenever the game is loaded (34727)
  • Journal entries about Nashkel mines should not be given in chapter 3 or later (34733)
  • [Multiplayer] Selected Client-controlled characters shouldn't teleport in Gullykin when host-controlled characters go out of the buildings (34880)
  • Charming the Flaming Fist Mercenary during Narlen's First Test should not cause you to fail the quest (35216)
  • Chapter 4 should not fail to trigger (35269)
  • Bottle of Wine shouldn't be dropped to the ground in Durlag's Tower (35284)
  • [Multiplayer] Gamaz should not lose his lines if the game is reloaded (35292)
  • Killing Silke shouldn't prevent Garrick from speaking to you (35351)
  • You should be able to tell Safana that you already cleared the cave when you first meet her (35352)
  • Mayor of Nashkel should recognize that you have cleared the mines (35357)
  • "A Ring for a Lady" should not be removed from the journal when it is completed (35372)
  • [Multiplayer] Imoen should not fail to join the party after Gorion's death (23390)
  • [Load Saved Game] Halen's Portrait should not be out of place in the "Prologue Start" saved game (23210)
  • [iOS] Final Game Export / Import from BG1 to SoD should work on iOS (35918)
  • Game should not freeze when starting the first combat of Black Pits Tier 3 (35891)
  • Zoom should work after defeating Sarevok at the Coronation (36113)
  • Rasaad should respond correctly (35663)
  • Kivan and Edwin should correctly interject when Dorn speaks (35647)
  • Soultaker Dagger should be marked as plot critical (35533)
  • Bounty Hunter's special snares should be throwable (33906)
  • Additional VO should play in French (23567)
  • Neera should not respond incorrectly during her second romance talk (35646)
  • Neera should not respond incorrectly (35644)
  • Narlen should give the correct journal entry (35637)
  • Kent should give the correct journal (35636)
  • Journal entry about ogres and madmen should only be given once (35236)
  • Reevor should say a voiced "By Moradin's hammer" if you speak to him after his quest has ended (35217)
  • Descriptions for Protection From Evil should match the spells (34911)
  • [Non-English] String 0 should be blank (23870)
  • Arcane Conjure Air Elemental Spell should not produce incorrect summons (17107)
  • Minsc and Edwin should not give the quest to save Dynaheir if you have already saved her (35380)
  • Talking with Commoners near Rasaad should play audio cues (33796)
  • You should not be able to leave the Dual Class proficiency screen until proficiency points are all spent (33765)
  • CADER09.WAV should play correctly (31265)
  • Elven Chain Mail should have the correct unidentified name (35783)
  • Certain scrolls should be named "Letter" (36006)
  • The item Gong Mallet should have a more accurate ground item (36058)
  • (BGEE) Spell descriptions should be accurate about targeting only allies/enemies (35454)
  • Infinity Engine improvements
  • Allow players to use the Priest of Tempus kit (34940)
  • Phase spiders summoned by Spider Spawn should not randomly teleport to the party (34445)
  • Importing same character file into party should not make class synopsis disappear (33817)
  • Picking up a potion should not trigger a THAC0 change in the inventory screen (32600)
  • Spells in the spell page list should be selectable after switching page (30928)
  • Bard song range should affect party members to at least a visual range (30768)
  • Only items which provide fire AND cold resistance should use the Resist Fire/Cold portrait icon (34486)
  • It should be possible to back out of character generation after cancelling an import (35790)
  • [iOS] [Multiplayer] Title should not crash on iPad 2 after 2 hours of continuous gameplay (31390)
  • The bmp renderer should not have a heavy memory leak (34868)
  • Game should not freeze when changing sound settings (34540)
  • Map scrolling should work in cutscenes (34429)
  • [Android] Set Snare ability should not have a blank icon (34171)
  • Scripts should be cached after load (34020)
  • Direct Connection' should not attempt to connect to a game session when an invalid IP is entered (33882)
  • Upgrade zlib to 1.2.11 (latest) (30061)
  • Add splprot type for current hp (34867)
  • Canceling quit game confirmation twice should not give a black screen (34710)
  • Selection cursor should always be shown when over Quickloot items (34581)
  • SCHOOLTOKEN or divination should not appear in information message when selecting wild mage spells (34198)
  • [Multiplayer] Unaffordable items shouldn't remain greyed out if you sell enough items to purchase them (34105)
  • [Port from PSTEE] Actions responsible for setting zoom level (34074)
  • [Port from PSTEE] Actions that would make adjusting cutscenes to work with different framerates easier (34073)
  • [Port from PSTEE] Increasing global variable only once (34072)
  • [Port from PSTEE] Setting and checking BITs (34071)
  • [Port from PSTEE] Implement LUA GUI command that can be used to check in-game variable (34070)
  • [Character Creation UI] Shaman class should be sorted with the rest of the single class options (33753)
  • The Sleep portrait icon should work when caused by weapons (33646)
  • Font size should be the same in dialogue and in the message window (33615)
  • It should not be possible to assign the Escape key in Assign Keys (33614)
  • Items which stun should provide full feedback (33604)
  • The quit game confirmation should always appear if More Confirmation Prompts are activated (33379)
  • [iOS] Import suffixes such as BG2CHARACTER should be case-insensitive (33128)
  • Auto-pause on "Enemy Sighted" should trigger on all appropriate occasions (32613)
  • [iOS] Interactive text should not be truncated in the dialogue window (32503)
  • [Multiplayer] Area should not appear with the debug name in the character arbitration screen (31368)
  • Table "mageBookStrings" should be editable through a M_*.lua file (31244)
  • Ctrl-M should display the target's Luck value (31239)
  • Screenshots should be taken in the PNG format (31237)
  • Main screen UI elements should not be displayed on top of the inventory screen (30624)
  • Wand of Lightning should allow save for half damage (30165)
  • Add "Take All" button to containers (29868)
  • A disabled off-hand weapon should not make the main-hand THAC0 bonus appear twice (24855)
  • Protection from Evil should not result in a blank fighting style proficiency (24405)
  • Levels of bonus priest spells in the character record should not be missing (24261)
  • It should be possible to disable tooltips (24170)
  • Tooltip for the quick loot button should not be missing (24137)
  • "More Confirmation Prompts" option should work when removing memorized spells (23968)
  • Map notes should not change strings (23737)
  • Character record page should not show both "Strength Modification" and "Strength Extra Modification" (23634)
  • (UI Strings) Play button in the Customize Sound panel should use the right string (23387)
  • Dying in Black Pits should return to the Black Pits menu (21202)
  • [Multiplayer] Pressing Enter on the gameplay screen should activate the chat window (4079)
  • Ranger's Charm Animal ability should use the appropriate icon (34086)
  • Screenshot function should work in Save Screen (34085)
  • Story Mode should prevent the death of familiars (33620)
  • Sounds for Miscast Magic should have the same saves as the rest of the spell (33471)
  • Empty quickspell slots should not show I as their hotkey (31247)
  • [Multiplayer] Client characters should not benefit twice when items are removed and re-equipped (21071)
  • [Multiplayer] Importing a character should import its statistics when the Import Character Rules option is set to "Statistics" (23904)
  • Log history button should state what it does when the cursor is put over it (24136)
  • Half-Elves or Elves using charm protection should not be charmed (25353)
  • Animation INI middle-column sounds should be played (30176)
  • Assigned keys should function at once (33645)
  • Stealth button of thieves and rangers should not remain active after picking up items via quickloot bar (34276)
  • [Multiplayer] Host should not appear to be able to adjust spells for characters they do not control (34330)
  • Direct Connection should not produce error messages in command prompt (34401)
  • [Multiplayer] [Tablet] Dialogue buttons should be disabled for players who are not controlling dialogue (34517)
  • [Tablet] Portraits should only be removed from the right sidebar if there are more dialogue responses than will fit on the left sidebar (34518)
  • [Multiplayer] [Tablet] On screen keyboard should not appear at character arbitration unless the multiplayer chat window is selected by the player (34521)
  • Characters under Berserk should not lose real HPs if they rest/travel while Berserkering (34610)
  • [Multiplayer] Clients should be able to re-equip items such as the ring of wizardry after they remove them (34618)
  • (spell) [BG:EE] Sunfire should function; [BG:EE/BG2:EE] spell should be standardized throughout all IE games (35296)
  • Items using icons in BAM V2 format should not be cropped to fit into inventory or toolbar slots (24789)
  • Double clicking where 'Quick Loot' arrow normally is should not move camera to the NW corner of the map (22887)
  • [Regression] You should not get excessive "Target Gone" messages upon ending combat with multiple party members (31293)
  • [Focus Test] Turning on Story Mode should also turn on Quick Loot and Reveal Details (33421)
  • drop a pop up when a file/directory is not writable (23733)
  • [Map UI] Should be able to select Black as a Valid Color for Marker Creation (23212)
  • [Multiplayer] Client icons and effects should not remain when items that granted them are removed after a save (34515)
  • [Android] Enable Family Library for purchases made before July 2, 2016 (34033)
  • [Android] BG:EE saves should be importable to BGII:EE or SoD (34095)
  • [Linux] Home directory permissions should not be reset whenever a save is made (24671)
  • [Tablet] All color choices should be available for selection via sliders (34542)
  • [Android] Double tapping a save should load that save (24057)
  • [Android] Keyboard should hide after a named save is made (24056)
  • [Android] Double tapping store items should open a quantity box (24054)
  • There should be an sound effects/animation when adding/removing spells (19512)
  • English font should not turn to boxes after setting the language to Russian or Ukrainian (30955)
  • All language names should be in English (22128)
  • Double Tapping Arrow key then pressing a button should not make map scrolling get stuck in one direction (22845)
  • Right clicking buttons in the multiplayer lobby should not leave them in a depressed state (35836)
  • Icons should not be present on portraits if the character is dead (35283)
  • Cleric alignment restrictions should be written consistently (34078)
  • Standalone credits screen should not mention Baldur's Gate (34980)
Writer

April 6 Livestream Recap


Phil plays a community created module for Eye of the Beholder in NWN:EE.
Today Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle shared the latest updates on Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and Infinity Engine EEs patches. Trent revealed the secret ending to Sword Coast High and Phil played part of the community created module Eye of the Beholder for NWN:EE, available in the Steam Workshop.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch!

Here's a quick summary of the highlights from the livestream:

  • The Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition launch on Steam was good! We’ll continue to roll it forward, providing new features, opening up modding opportunities and fixing bugs.
  • A lot of custom content for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is already in the Steam Workshop. Browse the Steam Workshop, find the mod you like, subscribe to it, and it will be downloaded automatically.
  • We don’t want the Steam Workshop to be the only place to find mods for NWN:EE. We want to mirror it, the question is where and how. Let us know your thoughts in the NWN:EE forums!
  • We want to make Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition the best experience for players. We’re going to keep game better with each update, the game’s code, look and functionality will be improving as we go forward.
  • We’re working on new character models for NWN:EE. You can see a few exciting results of our experiments on character models and tilesets in the Steam Workshop.
  • We’ll definitely take some steps to improve a few performance issues on Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
  • The development branch of NWN:EE on Steam will be continually updated. You can already try out the 8167 development branch build.
The current server list for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is quite extensive. There’s a lot of activity happening in Multiplayer!
  • The 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is still in full swing. We will be releasing an update to the BG:EE 2.5 beta later today.
  • We twisted Phil’s arm into adding the Priest of Tempus kit to Branwen.
  • We plan to start releasing final 2.5 patches towards the end of this month.
  • We plan to address performance issues of our Infinity Engine EEs on Google Play. If your app does not respond or crash, please, report these issues on our bug tracker.
Phil creates a half-orc wizard.
  • Full party control as it is possible in Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights 2 is probably not going to happen in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition by default, however, we’re looking at opening it up for modding opportunities.
  • Improving pathfinding in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is a big topic, and there are two possible approaches we can take towards addressing this issue. We’re looking at the code and trying to figure out what is involved, where pathfinding is falling out. If we redo the pathfinding, it’s going to change the way Neverwinter Nights plays, so we have to take the need for backwards compatibility into account. It may be that the new HD content will require a new pathfinding system.
  • We’re going to step Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition forward slowly, opening up systems, making them moddable. We’re deeply aware an ability to add new custom feats is one of the most requested features. We want to make players and modders able to do that.
  • If you’re having problems with the toolset, tell us how and where it is not working for you, and we’ll fix it. If you have an Intel integrated chipset - it may be the current reason of this problem.
  • A lot of 1.69 issues of Neverwinter Nights have already been fixed in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. If we missed a few - please, report them on our bug tracker.

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

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Making of Siege of Dragonspear





This article by Daniel Griliopoulos was originally published as part of Issue 2 of The Familiar. We're republishing the article now that phone and tablet players can experience the exciting story of Siege of Dragonspear. Siege of Dragonspear is now available on Google Play and the App Store.


Siege of Dragonspear started as a concept more than six years ago, when Trent Oster began acquiring the rights to Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, with the first programmers starting work on the project from April 28, 2011. “It was actually straightforward to get permission for more Baldur's Gate content once we had cleared up all the legal issues around the Enhanced Editions,” remembers Phillip Daigle, Siege of Dragonspear Producer and Lead Writer. “The fine folks at Wizards of the Coast were very enthusiastic about the idea once they saw how invested we were in Baldur's Gate and the Forgotten Realms.”

Having brought two Baldur’s Gate video games to modern audiences, Beamdog in 2016 turned its attention to an all-new tale that sits between the iconic titles.

Despite Beamdog’s enthusiasm for new Baldur’s Gate content, the team didn’t immediately start work on the project. “We began discussing Dragonspear in late 2011, although at the time we were still calling it ‘ BG1.5’,” says Daigle. “Our initial idea was for an expansion that bridged the gap between the Enhanced Editions of Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II – it would be a fairly simple two to three-hour adventure that primarily used existing artwork. As we worked on the additional content for those two games, we kept fiddling with the BG1.5 concept, and we had John Gallagher [lead artist on the original Baldur's Gate] do some early concept art for us.”

A cloud-based file repository allowed the artists to share area maps and concept art with the team, while story design began in Google Docs.
Daigle also took the opportunity to bring some previously unused Baldur’s Gate material back to life: “The original Baldur's Gate had a canceled second expansion pack after Tales of the Sword Coast. This was supposed to involve a sinister individual who is trapped in stone, but can reach into the world to influence events. The sages of Candlekeep were to send the party on a quest to retrieve the stone. We took some of these concepts and modified them for use in Siege of Dragonspear.”

An Ancient Code


Sketch of the Temple of Cyric.


While the ideas and concept art piled up, the technical team was faced with the challenge of building an entirely new game based on Baldur’s Gate’s Infinity Engine software. As Beamdog’s CTO Scott Brooks explains, that wasn’t easy, to say the least. “We started with the source code for Baldur's Gate II, which had networking support for serial connections, dial up modems, and IPX networking. It had piles of code to support CD swapping, and had the minimum system requirements of a Pentium 166 with 16MB of Ram. There were lots of things the engine was doing that it didn't need to do any more, and all of that code would get in the way of trying to make progress.”

Brooks spent a lot of time digging into that code to find out what it actually did. Building a version for today’s 64-bit Apple platforms is also a challenge for a 20-year-old, 16-bit engine that was created using assembly code. Even the tools and resources to work with the Infinity Engine are horribly ancient, dating back to the mid-’90s. “We upgrade them where we can,” says Daigle, “but it can still be a real bear to work with such old tools. I'm fairly certain we have a couple of applications that were written in Delphi back in 1996, and if anyone is a programmer, that tidbit will probably spook them.”

Final Renders of the Temple of Cyric.


An unexpected problem was how to keep consistency with the two other Baldur’s Gate games, which are literally from another generation. “It's a real challenge to build new content that looks good, but also looks ‘old’ so that it fits in with the existing content. It's an interesting and very fine line to walk, and it's a challenge that I imagine most teams don't have to face,” Daigle adds. 


Even when they got the engine working, the team still had to decide what to put in, with help from Wizards of the Coast. “As fans of the series, we've always had a lot of wants and wishes for stuff the player could do, and so we had a few ideas that we had been sitting on for over a decade,” says Daigle. “Also, years ago, before Throne of Bhaal was released, the folks at BioWare had put together a list of the most-requested features or scenarios that fans wanted to see in a future Infinity Engine game. They managed to check off a couple of those requests in Throne of Bhaal, and we checked off a bunch more of them with Siege of Dragonspear.”

The Plot Thickens



By mid-2013, Siege of Dragonspear’s plot was sketched out. All Daigle and his team had to do was write it. Not as easy a task as you might think, considering that the two Baldur’s Gate video games contain the same word count as 21 fantasy novels added together. “We were adding the equivalent of six novels right in the center of that,” said Daigle, “so we had to make sure that the new stuff harmonized with the original content.”


The Beamdog team designed and added four new joinable companions to Siege of Dragonspear. “Once we've established what class would play well, we start talking about story ideas for the character,” said Daigle, “We have a round of pitches, some refinements, and then we bounce our ideas back and forth with Wizards of the Coast to make sure we're on target with the lore. We strive to make characters that feel as if they have lives of their own beyond the player, and to really make that apparent.”

The team was keen for players to discover the plot twists for themselves, but at the time Daigle did reveal something for amateur detectives to puzzle over: “The story itself was actually inspired by the description of an item from Dungeons & Dragons. I won't reveal which item it was because that would spoil the plot, but I originally read about it 15 years ago and it has stuck with me ever since as a really cool idea.”

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