True PC Gaming had the chance to chat with Beamdog's Trent Oster on the upcoming Enhanced Edition of the beloved Baldur's Gate, with questions on the new NPCs, the price point, the reasons behind giving Baldur's Gate the "Enhanced Edition" treatment and more. Here's a sampling:
What was the motivation behind releasing Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition?
Baldur's Gate deserved better. It's such a fantastic series, and yet it's largely inaccessible to modern audiences.
The version you can currently buy requires loads of workarounds and mods to get running at an acceptable level, and that's just not a good experience to our mind. We wanted to bring a classic game to a whole new audience with as little hassle as possible. Combine that with our familiarity with Baldur's Gate, and it seemed like the obvious choice for our next project.
Our end goal with this project is to leave the Baldur's Gate community better off than when we arrived. We're definitely going to do that.
Discuss the challenges you faced in ensuring Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition would run on modern PC system configurations?
Lots and lots. The Infinity Engine, which is what the entire Baldur's Gate saga runs on, was built in the late 90s. This was a time of strife, with Titanic terrorizing theatres and Pathfinder crushing a tiny Martian civilization as it landed. These trying times were reflected in the now 15-year-old code, with terrifying Windows-95-isms scattered all over the place.
There were a lot of nasty things lurking in the code, like the assumptions the original team made about how multi-threading was going to work in the future. To be fair to the original team, they did a stand-up job. Taking any game and converting it for use across multiple platforms would result in a similar mess.
Does the likelihood of Baldur's Gate 3 solely depend on the financial success of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition?
Just so everyone is clear: We haven't been awarded a contract to create a Baldur's Gate 3. But if Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition do well financially and we're able to demonstrate that we can make good original content, I believe we would have a strong chance of making it happen.