Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Beamdog Update, March 19, 2019

“Axis & Allies Online has been a labour of love from a lot of the developers over at Beamdog. We’ve been working hard to ensure we’ve made a game that is faithful to the source material, and just as fun to play.” ~ Cody Ouimet
These are busy times at Beamdog. We thought we’d give you a quick update on what we are up to:

  • Axis & Allies Online is available to wishlist on Steam. Take a first look at screenshots and get ready for an official adaptation of the classic board game! Axis & Allies Online is coming soon to Steam Early Access for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Next Wednesday (3/27) at 09am PT we will have an AMA session at about Axis & Allies Online with our community manager Julius Borisov! Hope to see you there!
  • Beamdog is heading to PAX East! We’ll be in Boston from March 28 - 31. Come meet us at the Skybound Games booth, where Trent Oster, Luke Rideout, Alfonso Munoz, and Sarah Dawson will be showing a playable demo of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for PS4 and Switch so you can try it hands-on. Check Skybound Games’ Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for more details on bringing Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate ll, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment, and Neverwinter Nights to consoles.
  • The playable demo of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for PS4 and Switch at the Skybound Games booth will feature the voice and portrait of Evelyn from the Dice, Camera, Action! pack for the first time.
“We are Axis and Allies fans and we’ve worked hard to build a fun, accessible version of the game and we hope you enjoy playing it as much as we have.” ~ Trent
  • Check out the latest Axis & Allies Online interview with Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Producer Cody Ouimet by Axis and about the origin story of Axis & Allies Online, development insights, and more.
  • Back in February, Trent Oster gave an interview to The Fly where he discussed Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, console ports, creating original games, and more.
  • Check out the latest issue of community magazine Wild Surge for an interview with Beamdog Marketing and PR Lead Sarah Dawson about Axis & Allies Online!
  • Beamdog has 50 employees as of last week, and we’re still hiring! We’re looking for Programmers, Lead Programmers, and Designers to join our team!
  • Last week we launched the new and improved which now covers both the D&D games and Axis & Allies Online. As a part of our site update, the Beamdog Client also received a small update (2.1.11 ver) to point to the Beamdog Store’s new URL. If you’re using the Beamdog Client and haven’t updated yet, it should still work normally.
  • Kate Welch, game designer at Wizards of the Coast, moved on to play Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition in her show, Welch's Game Juice. Join her on Twitch every Thursday at 3pm PT to win giveaways!
Let us know your thoughts on our new website!
  • The next patch for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is not quite ready. As we mentioned in December, once we started on the renderer and 64-bit integration in earnest, that became our main focus. We have a team dedicated to the renderer, and the 64-bit merge has happened, but we’ve got a road ahead of us before we’re going to be able to put a bow on it and make it public, as the console branch requires us to spend time adding controller support, to spend time cleaning up some long-overdue UI problems, and other changes that will have far-reaching benefits in the long run.
  • We don’t have a full feature list we can share with players yet, but the new renderer for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is very robust, and gives us, potentially, access to all the bells and whistles one looks for in a modern game. Luke thinks players and modders will be pleasantly surprised by its capabilities.
  • A controller version of the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition UI for PC wouldn’t be impossible. The controller branch currently is distinct from the PC branch because Neverwinter’s UI wasn’t designed with a controller in mind, meaning we have to include a number of changes to UI and camera behaviour that we would have to reconcile between the console and PC versions. But either way, it would likely be something to investigate after the Console version ships.
  • The iOS port of NWN:EE is in progress. We don’t have an ETA yet, but it is being actively worked on, as well as updates to the Android version in parallel.
  • We have a team of dedicated QA who are testing all of the builds, logging bugs, performing regression testing, and confirming both functionality and bug fixes on a daily basis. All of the development team are responsible for fixing the bugs on the features that they work on. The “New” status in the public bug tracker isn’t a measurement of time in the tracker, but an indication of whether an issue has been triaged and escalated. If a bug is listed as “New”, it means it’s still in the queue to be triaged.
  • The Dice, Camera, Action! voice and portrait pack will introduce a new vendor - Alveus Malcanter (voiced by Mark Meer). You’ll find him in each game (Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition) selling four items tied to the Waffle Crew. Any further items he would carry would always be thematically tied to the pack they’re distributed with.
  • We looked into the possibility of an easter egg banter between Alveus Malcanter and Baeloth (since Mark Meer is the voice of both, as well as a few other voices in the game) in Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. Unfortunately, it was out of the scope of what we could do for the first iteration of the Alveus Malcanter character.
  • We’ve made significant improvements to pathfinding and collision in the console ports of our Infinity Engine games. Luke hopes to back-port these improvements to PC, but they’re not a part of the 2.6 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition (which is still in the works).
  • Luke has been interested for a while in making Ascension an official “DLC” for Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, and a few other similar mods, but there are some challenges in that: we can’t legally distribute content that we don’t own or have permission from all involved parties. In the case of some, where the people who worked on it are not in communication with us, our hands are tied.
  • It appears that the primary reason that Catmull-Rom was dropped in the 2.0 patch was that it caused some very large performance issues with the mobile versions of the game. It is something that might be worth looking at restoring, but we’d need to do a little more research as to why we were unable to keep it in the first place.
  • There seems to be an issue with an old implementation of Android softkeys not playing nicely with Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition after they were updated to work with a newer version of the Android OS, which we had to do for security reasons. On some devices running Android 4.4 KitKat and earlier, the softkeys get in the way of the fullscreen game, but we’ve been unable to reproduce and fix as the issue only occurs on select devices that are no longer supported by Google.
  • The 3.1.4 patch for Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition (which includes the Czech localization) has been live on Beamdog for a while now! If you have it installed via the Beamdog Client, it should either already be version 3.1.4, or updateable to 3.1.4 now. You can confirm the version number in the lower-right corner of the main menu after launching.

If you have a question for Beamdog, don’t hesitate to ask us 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 February, 2019).

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Axis & Allies Online is now available to wishlist on Steam!

Wishlist Axis & Allies Online on Steam today!
Hi Everyone!

Today we've kicked our Steam page live! This means you can now:

It's been one month since we announced Axis & Allies Online and we're overjoyed with the response from the community.
We don't have a release date to share yet, but we are working hard to bring this iconic boardgame to life as a digital product - soon.

Please stay tuned for more news!

We'll be looking for feedback from players when we launch into Steam Early Access.