Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Interview

05 May 2012

The folks at TabTimes have a brief but not at all uninteresting interview with Overhaul Games' Cameron Tofer on the upcoming Enhanced Edition of the original Baldur's Gate and, while the interview mostly focuses on the planned iOS version of the title, there's certainly some interesting info on the development process and the changes made to the code. Here's an excerpt:
What’s your proudest accomplishment since you started development of the new version of the game for the iPad?

We’ve had some pretty happy moments. We spent a lot of time in the code and, for lack of a better word, butchered a lot of MSC stuff and old Windows junk out of there. I think we reduced the size of the binary by a third almost. It was originally 10MB. We were able to get it down to 2MB or something like that. We’ve made some major changes to it.

Of course, there’s the effort of making it portable too. Now we’re redoing the UI. That’s going to be really exciting because it’ll open the game up to UI mods and all kinds of other wonderful stuff. I can’t say exactly how it’s going to do yet. We’re still iterating it to find out.

With our first passes, we were reworking the UI to be more flexible, where we can start making different changes, and then see where it goes. The benefit in that is that we can do different versions and different themes—we can have a couple of different styles of interface.

Designing for a tablet is significantly different from designing for PC so we’re playing with it to make it really good. I don’t pretend to know exactly the way the interface should be and then make it that way.

The license for the game belongs to Wizards of the Coast. How did you obtain the rights this time around?

It wasn’t easy. It took us well over a year to negotiate.

We built a relationship with them where we told them that we wanted to take on the project and would treat it with the utmost respect. We’d worked with them in the past on other projects.

We put the case forward that we’re the ones to do it, and it’s developed into a great working relationship.

As for Atari and Bioware, we’ve all had connections with them. It was a lot of work, but it’s been great that we were able to pull it off. The original scope of what we pitched and what we wanted to do to with the project has evolved over time as different opportunities became available to us.

After a while, we were able to settle on what we were going to do, and Wizards had all eyes on what we were doing the whole time. We’ve even contracted people from Wizards. We have a very tight relationship.