Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Editions Announced

The countdown on the BaldursGate.com website has finished, but even after waiting for the massive slowdown to pass by, we're not left with a whole lot of information to glean from it.  Thankfully, Beamdog's Trent Oster has been busy sharing some information via Twitter, which I'll combine snippets from (along with everything else we know) below:

• Overhaul Games (Beamdog's development arm) is heading up the projects, with the support of both Atari and Wizards of the Coast.

• The new Beamdog newsletter states a Summer 2012 release date, at least for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition (no release date for Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition yet).

• Tales of the Sword Coast will be included in the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and Throne of Bhaal will be included in the Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition.

• The games will be available on PC, Mac OS X, and iOS, at the very least.

• No, there won't be an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 version, nor a Nintendo version. Yay?

• The Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Editions will be ported to and playable on the iPad 1, 2, and 3, so there's no need to worry about having to upgrade to Apple's latest and greatest device.

• There will be "new content for the game you love, made by some of the original team members".

• The team is doing their best to provide support for mods, old and new.

• Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition will be exclusive to Beamdog (on PC).

• The BG:EE will utilize the 2nd Edition D&D ruleset, just as the original games did. Beamdog/Overhaul Games' motto: "Don't break the fun."

• The "Infinity Enhanced" engine that powers both Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition will be "based off the latest Throne of Bhaal code base". That means we can use class kits and wild mages in the original Baldur's Gate. Oh, and there will be at least one completely new kit.

• The team is making it a point to support as many languages as they can. English, German, Spanish, and French are all confirmed thus far, but Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Russian are all being considered as well.

• No new-fangled 3D-rendered graphics, here. They're going "2D isometric all the way", just the way we like it.

• The team is going to stick with the original BG model of limited voiceovers because it "allows for more in-depth writing." Good call.

• Originally, Trent stated that our old BG1 and BG2 save games should work in the Enhanced Editions. However, he has since hinted that they won't be compatible at ship.

• There will be all-new characters for us to meet and recruit into our party in the Enhanced Editions. Voiced by all-new actors, no less.

• While the new characters will be voiced by new actors, there are no current plans to add new VO for the old characters.

• The Enhanced Editions will likely only be released digitally, so your old Baldur's Gate boxed copies will have to continue taking up your prized shelf space for now.

• The interface will see some revising, specifically to increase the size of the font (and hopefully the characters) at high resolutions. Elaborating further, Trent states that they have the original source code and are attempting to rework the UI and rendering.

• Once you're finished with the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, you will be able to import your character into the Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, just as we could with the original games.

• The team is "looking for new ways" to attach Baldur's Gate + Tales of the Sword Coast and Baldur's Gate II + Throne of Bhaal into one cohesive title. And, yes, that would be nothing short of awesome.

• The outdated DirectPlay network interface used by Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II has been "macheted" to make room for something that is "better". Here's to hoping co-op multiplayer will be vastly improved!

• Beamdog is aware that not everyone likes their digital download client. "We're putting some thought into that."

• The new content that Beamdog/Overhaul Games is adding to the series can be ignored if you'd rather only play through the content we've all come to know by heart over the years.

• The ultimate goal? The new Enhanced Editions are "part of the master plan" toward the possibility of a Baldur's Gate III.

• Overhaul is looking into ways of improving mod management and is even considering integrating some of the series' most popular mods into the Enhanced Edition, where they would then become Baldur's Gate "canon". Interesting.

• Five of the team members working on the Enhanced Editions at Overhaul Games are former BioWare developers who worked on Baldur's Gate and/or Baldur's Gate II so many years ago.

• New creatures created for Baldur's Gate II and Throne of Bhaal will be implemented in the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.

• The team is hinting at the possibility of the races and subraces from Icewind Dale II being implemented into the Enhanced Editions, though they haven't been given access to the Icewind Dale content... yet.

• The team plans to significantly overhaul the UI in order to accomodate a wide range of resolutions.

• Given that much of the data was duplicated across the game's original CDs, the team believes they can get the final Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to clock in at under 2GB.

• There are currently no plans to support Windows 8's touchscreen capabilities.

• Cloud saving is one of the many features the Enhanced Editions will support.

• All of the classes, kits, and weapon proficiencies from Baldur's Gate II will be supported in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.

• The level cap in the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition will be raised, though they have to make sure that characters aren't overly powerful when porting them to the Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition.

• After the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Editions are behind them, a Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition is next on their list.

• The Enhanced Editions will support cross-platform multiplayer, meaning that PC, Mac, and iOS players will be able to share the Bhaalspawn storyline together if they so desire.

• Yes, we will be able to import our BG:EE character into BG2:EE.

• Since they'll be working with the Throne of Bhaal engine, dual wielding will be an option in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.

• In order to port the series to tablets, the team has refined the games' code base, and that makes them easier to work with on PC, too.

• After BGEE is released for its originally announced platforms, the team will be working on "a small screen UI solution" in order to open up more porting options.

• If their budget allows, the team would like to add more difficulty settings.

• Due to high demand, the team is considering the possibility of shipping the Enhanced Editions in a retail box.

• They most likely won't be adding achievements.

• The system requirements for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition will be slightly higher than the vanilla version of the game due to the addition of Open GL support.

• The team is researching ways of fixing the games' pathfinding issues, though no improvements have been promised yet.

• A Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition was considered, but given the fact that Cryptic Studios will be releasing a free-to-play MMO called Neverwinter, such a project may never happen.

• One of the reasons it took so long for the project(s) to get underway was due to a "long contract negotiation" with EA/BioWare.

• The team added yet another original Baldur's Gate series developer on April 10th, or at least that was when it was announced via Twitter.

• There are now at least eight former BioWare people working on the titles, as well as comic artist Nat Jones.

• We know there will be at least one additional recruitable companion in BG:EE, but he/she/it will be "romantically challenged" (non-humanoid?).

• We'll now be able to zoom in and out, which should make things a bit easier to see and control on iPad.

• Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, Baldur's Gate III, and a Kickstarter campaign for a new IP are all being considered after BGEE and BG2EE are complete.

• Thanks to the way they've rewritten the UI, it will apply to future games, such as Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.

• In the event that the team moves on to a Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition afterward, they would use the Infinity Enhanced Engine they've built off the Throne of Bhaal code base, which would add co-op multiplayer to the game for the first time.

• The iPad version will weigh in somewhere between 1.2GB and 1.5GB.

• Windows 8 probably won't be supported at launch due to the DirectX requirement.

• A boxed copy of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is unlikely, but not completely ruled out.

• Overhaul Games will continue active development of BG:EE after it ships, so more features down the road are possible.

• Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition is due out sometime in 2013.

• That active development will be in the form of DLC, and some of it will cost us money.

• And, finally, we have an official announcement:
Announcing Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™

March 15, 2012 - Atari, Wizards of the Coast, and Overhaul Games are pleased to announce work has begun on the Enhanced Edition of Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II.

Since its initial release in 1998, Baldur’s Gate has entertained millions of fans around the globe, and has received countless awards. This classic saga of mystery, intrigue, and adventure has set the standard for Dungeons & Dragons® computer roleplaying games ever since.

RE-FORGED BY OVERHAUL GAMES

Overhaul Games has assembled a talented team of artists, programmers and designers to enhance this timeless classic. To remain true to the spirit of the game, the team includes original Baldur’s Gate developers.

RELIVE THE MOST EPIC STORY EVER TOLD

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition™ will feature a re-forged version of the Infinity Engine with a variety of modern improvements.

THE GREATEST ROLEPLAYING GAME OF ALL TIME, ENHANCED

For all information regarding Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ visit www.baldursgate.com.

And if you're at all interested in Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II and are considering another play-through of either, I highly recommend checking out our Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II subsites, as well as our Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, and Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal forums. Our subsites are/were Interplay's official fansites for the games and our forums have accumulated a staggering amount of strategical information, quest walkthroughs, workarounds, and other information over the past 12 years that you simply can't find anywhere else.