NeoGamr quizzed Beamdog's Trent Oster on the subject of the upcoming Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate, with a bit of reminiscence of the man's time with the BioWare team working on the original title thrown in for good measure. Here's a snippet:
The original versions of the game is still available for sale at a number of download outlets. Why do you believe there is an audience for a revamped version of the original game? What can you tell us at this time about the graphical improvements that Overhaul Games has planned for the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition?
The first major improvement is going to be the user interface. The old Baldur's Gate interface was created around 640x480 resolution. Even with BG2 the user interface still had elements which were locked to 640x480. We are going in and re-writing the UI system to work for multiple larger resolutions and we are using the iPad 3 (at 2048x1536) as one of our target resolutions so the new UI is going to look amazing. One of our other major improvements was to convert the graphics completely over to OpenGL. By using the hardware present in all devices, we can run BG at higher resolutions and run it faster and smoother that it ever could before.
Our third major enhancement is the addition of the ability to zoom in and out dynamically during gameplay. Zooming out allows the player to be more tactical in the positioning of their party. Zooming in allows the player to search the environment in detail and have greater precision with actions. With regards to the background art and character art, we are limited in what we can do from a purely graphical context as the original art assets were lost. Since we have no 3D models or textures from the original games to go from we have to make the best of what is available.
We are currently researching a few upscaling algorithms to try and improve the quality of the existing assets. We are still experimenting with the game and testing out various ideas on how we can further improve the existing content, but we also took the feedback from MDK2 HD to heart and are focusing our content creation efforts on creating new content, not just prettying up content you have already played through.
What plans, if any, do you have to add any content to the game for this new edition in terms of new adventures, characters and gameplay?
We have plans within plans in this area. So far we have announced one new potential party member. He comes with a class which is new to Baldur's Gate and a story-based adventure which integrates into the existing Baldur's Gate story. We've also announced a new adventure which exists outside the Bhaalspawn story and should be a lot of fun to play.