For developer Larian Studios, the sheer scale of creating a complicated world for Baldur’s Gate 3 where everything players do matters proved to be far more challenging than its previous Divinity: Original Sin games. That is saying much since Divinity: Original Sin was not small by any means.
Speaking with Edge magazine for the latest issue, studio founder Swen Vincke compared the world-building of Baldur’s Gate 3 with Divinity: Original Sin to explain the great lengths Larian Studios had to go for in the former.
Taking the new Barbarian class as an example, Vincke explained how a team of designers replaced individual writers to come up with numerous permutations for players who might role-play as a barbarian.
That included questions players might have during every story situation, reactions to those questions being answered, among many other scenarios. Each permutation would create a whole “waterfall” of new permutations; a rabbit hole that only went deeper the further Larian Studios explored.
“There [Divinity: Original Sin] it was just adding a line, and a line is very rapidly typed,” noted Vincke. “That’s something we underestimated big time.”
The grueling journey though was not without a significant reward for Larian Studios. Baldur’s Gate 3 has helped the developer grow in all aspects, and fans can only imagine how those lessons will be used in whatever project the studio takes on next.
“We’ve become better RPG developers during this process,” said Vincke. “We’re better at understanding agency and what matters to players. We’ve taken big steps in writing — when you see the craft that goes into permutations, that they work regardless of party composition or whether you’re githyanki or gnome.
“We’re better at the processes, the technology — we figured out how to test games like this without killing ourselves. And how to develop them without killing ourselves.”
A lot of resources and minds have been spent on Baldur’s Gate 3 and the results speak for themselves. The game has an exceptional user rating on Steam even though it remains partly in early access.