Baldur’s Gate 3 Lead Swen Vincke Describes the “Many Challenges” in Making the Game

Baldur’s Gate 3 lead designer Swen Vincke discusses in an interview with IGN all of the challenges the company has faced in Early Access so far.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Lead Swen Vincke Describes “Many Challenges” in Game Creation

Vincke grew up in a small town in Belgium. Back in the day, there was almost no interest in D&D, so Vincke had little exposure to the game and its community. However, he was fascinated by it, and instead, he sought to experience it. Vincke went through other D&D-based tablet game manuals, mostly in public libraries. Little did he know that years later, he would be making a video game with that exact set of rules.

Approach meetings in many ways

Approach meetings in many ways

Studio heads love the game because it’s a great way to hone creativity and problem-solving. He then shared an anecdote in which he used D&D with his children on long car rides. The father of four will ask his children about fake situations and what they will do in them. “Okay, you see a witch in the woods. What will you do?”.

It’s this line of questions that can keep his kids’ attention on their iPads for hours on end. It’s also a great distraction, a great adventure, and a great form of family bonding.

And so in my head, I roll the dice, and I cheat, and so we go on an adventure and we can pass hours this way…

Baldur’s Gate 3 Dream

Swen Vincke later called Baldur’s Gate 3 the company’s “Dream Project”. This makes perfect sense, given his connection to the header on the countertop. Although it is something they have been waiting for for a long time, it is also their most ambitious project.

Larian Studios definitely has some big shoes to fill. The first two Baldur’s Gate games were developed by BioWare in 1998 and 2000. Both were critically acclaimed. Since then, there have been countless sub-versions in the Forgotten Kingdom, and a few enhanced versions have been included in the mix.

Roll the dice

Roll the dice

However, Vincke’s team at Larian did not falter. They are primarily known for the Divinity series of games, which originated in 2002’s Divine Divinity. However, they have achieved critical acclaim in their latest title, Divinity Original Sin: II. Their Original Sin games are the perfect springboard for games like Baldur’s Gate. While DOS is a turn-based game and BG has traditionally been a real-time pause, the former is the perfect sandbox that allows players to truly role-play the way they want.

Larian’s Great Expansion

In anticipation of this next epic project, Vincke has expanded his team. From just 150 employees, Larian has grown to more than 400. This massive growth was due to the success of Original Sin II and took place over a year of pre-production.

Larian has expanded the team to over 400 members (no Goblins though)

Larian has expanded the team to over 400 members (no Goblins though)

They finally realized the challenges of the scale and scope of their “Dream Project”. Just because you have hundreds of people doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do something. Some of the challenges included estimating (to the best of their ability) the amount of work to be done, such as counting from scripts, sound recordings and cinematography.

Larian also ran into problems with their newfound scale. They discovered that they did not have any efficient processes in place to manage such a large number of employees. The pandemic didn’t help with this either, causing what Vincke called the “fragmentation” of the company. In fact, production almost stopped altogether in some stages.

Biggest challenge

However, the biggest thing they have to remember is that Dungeons and Dragons is inherently a complex, colorful game. Creativity and player choice are what made the game so enjoyable initially, and Larian faced the challenge of creating a truly digital version of this.

You will often hear, ‘You have to give the illusion of choice.’ You really have to make the actual choice, otherwise, it doesn’t matter.

So it seems Larian is adamant about making meaningful player choices in Baldur’s Gate 3, just like they did in the Original Sin game. For those who can’t play those games, the Original Sin game is the perfect sandbox in which the player can really choose how to approach encounters. The player can choose to kill (or not kill) specific NPCs and the game will continue.

Player class selection is important

Player class selection is important

Another big player choice would be the Player Class. It has been confirmed that Baldur’s Gate 3 will feature all 12 D&D classes, all of which are fundamentally different from each other. The current early access version has 9 classes – Barbarian, Sorcerer, Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, Wizard and Cleric. This means only Bard, Monk and Paladin are missing from the game’s roster.

Besides that, they also needed to combine all existing spells and abilities, and make them “feel the impact in the world”.

Access to Early Rescue

One of the ways Larian decided to help the development of Baldur’s Gate 3 was to bring it into Early Access. This strategy worked for Original Sin 1 and 2. Player feedback is paramount to the success of these two titles – so BG3 should be too, right?

Thoughts on Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access

Thoughts on Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access

The quick fan responses in Early Access proved to be very helpful in the end. Larian was able to make major changes to the game system based on all the valuable player feedback. Despite a sketchy launch and critical influencers reviews of an apparently unfinished product, Vincke doesn’t regret the decision to bring Baldur’s Gate 3 into Early Access.

It (Ealy Access) allows you to quickly try things out, you see what resonates, what doesn’t, and when you have to put in too many rules because we have to switch and figure out how everything works. people will understand them or not understand them, it is a very, very useful tool to have.

Looking back on what will change

In his final realization, Vincke felt that the team at Larian might have “organized themselves better than we did”. This is because there were some unexpected glitches along the way. But considering the size of Baldur’s Gate 3, I think we can excuse them from this.

1656027943 737 Baldurs Gate 3 Lead Swen Vincke Describes the Many Challenges - Baldur’s Gate 3 Lead Swen Vincke Describes the “Many Challenges” in Making the Game

When the interview was over, Vincke really thought they could meet the expectations set for them. The stories of mischief that people shared in the game warmed his heart. Knowing that their “Dream Project” has a positive effect on people’s lives makes him proud.

..Games are important and they can make a difference. And if you make a good game, it can be more important than if you make a bad game. So success seems like your game is important to everyone and it makes all the difference.

Want an edge in the game? Check out the 10 Best Spells in Baldur’s Gate 3 or a class guide for Druid, Sorcerer and Barbarian. We also have Baldur’s Wiki 3.

For more news, check out Made in Abyss get two game mode details and big win returns at the 2022 BAFTA Game Awards.

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