Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Beamdog Update, February 20, 2019

“Axis and Allies Online is Beamdog’s love letter to a board game that played a huge role in my youth.” ~ Trent
A month has passed since our last livestream. And what a month this has been! We feel it’s the right moment to share all the latest studio news and updates on our games!

  • Our latest project is Axis & Allies Online, an official adaptation of Axis & Allies 1942, Second Edition: a tabletop classic beloved by history buffs and strategy gamers around the globe. Axis & Allies Online will be coming soon to Steam Early Access. Make sure to sign up for the Axis & Allies Online newsletter for the latest updates on community, strategy and development!
  • We partnered with Skybound Games, the publisher behind Slime Rancher, The Long Dark, and other fantastically fun titles, to bring our D&D Enhanced Editions to console - for the first time ever. Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition and Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition will all come to Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PS4 in 2019! Check out the full announcement by Skybound Games here.

Your beloved D&D classics are coming to console!
  • We've been hard at work on the new shader pipeline for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition that will eventually debut in the new renderer. Check out an early technical demonstration and let us know your thoughts, custom content creator or otherwise!
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has been nominated for Best Digital Game and Best Narrative in the Design and Game Awards. Please vote for NWN:EE if you think it should win!
  • Celebrate’s Lantern Festival Sale! Get up to 52% of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition and DLC! Save up to 33% on Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and its DLC!
  • Kate Welch, game designer at Wizards of the Coast, plays Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition (and will soon play Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition) on Twitch every Thursday at 3pm PT in her new show - Welch's Game Juice. Join Kate to have fun with D&D and win prizes!
These screenshots show a glimpse of changes which will come to NWN:EE with the new renderer (everything is still in development).
  • 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 is still in development.
  • We’ve explored the possibility of Catmull-Rom Bicubic scaling, as well as as a few other solutions for scaling (eg. ESRGAN scaling) for the Infinity Engine Enhanced Editions, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet on implementing either.
  • We received a number of questions about UI for the Infinity Engine Enhanced Editions games and our plans regarding it going forward. Now that the console releases are announced, we can share that we’ve been doing extensive updates to our UI system that could very possibly end up paying dividends for the PC versions into the future. For the time being, however, all of the UI work we’re doing is centered squarely around the console versions of the games, so any changes to the PC UI won’t happen for a while.
  • We can’t get into any specifics regarding new story content for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, but there are things currently in the works. We have one full-time writer in-house, and work with external writers as opportunities arise.
  • We haven’t released new enhanced models to the Steam Workshop for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition in a while because with the current rewrite of the renderer we want to ensure that what we release, by way of new assets, makes the best use of it.
  • We’ve recently done some work to update the compiler for the Neverwinter Nights Toolset. We have removed the DRM that was preventing the Premium Modules from being read by the Toolset, but there are some strange issues still which make parts of the Modules behave strangely in the Toolset. There are final steps that still need to be taken before these Modules are ready to be opened up in the Toolset. There is no ETA on this, as we’re focusing on the upcoming console releases.
  • To chat in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Android, you need to tap on the chat bar, which is positioned right above the hotbar (along the bottom of the screen). The virtual joystick is a different method of moving your character around from Neverwinter Nights classic point ‘n click interface: the left half of the screen can be used like an analog joystick, to walk your character around in 360 degrees, and the right side of the screen controls camera rotation, by swiping left and right.
  • We don’t have any specific ETA for the new UI for our Translation Tool but it’s in the works.
  • We’ve spent a lot of our time as a studio working on adapting legacy codebases for modern systems. In those cases, we had access to the source code of the games, and we had people (involved in the development of the Enhanced Editions) that were members of the original development team, including our founders, Trent and Cameron.
  • Looking into the past has been an interesting journey for us, but Beamdog is starting to look forward. We’re interested in working on our own original products, so it’s likely that the next things you see from Beamdog will be original products, instead of more Enhanced Editions. We can’t say for certain what the next project is. Right now we’re looking at our options.
  • We’d like to thank all our players and followers for their patience. We’re deep into development on console versions of all of our Enhanced Edition games. We’ve got a dedicated team working on all of Baldur’s Gate, Siege of Dragonspear, Baldur’s Gate II, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights to get them ready for release on consoles, and that’s taking up the larger part of our company resources. Those that aren’t on those projects, are hard at work on Axis & Allies Online. There are some resources still looking at PC (for the Infinity Engine games), but in the short term, console is our main directive. The 2.6 patch has been a long road, which we still haven’t reached the end of either. We’re extremely grateful to all of our fans for their understanding, and continued love of the games.

If you have a question to Beamdog, don’t hesitate to ask on our forums. We'll try to get answers from Beamdog Producer Luke Rideout and then will directly communicate them back to you (above are Luke’s answers to the community questions asked in January, 2019).

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