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On page five of the fifth installment to Wizards of the Coast's digital Dragon magazine, we hear from Beamdog's Trent Oster and Amber Scott about their upcoming Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear expansion pack, from its original conception to its inevitable growth and its newly revealed "early 2016" release date. A handful of paragraphs:
"I think that's just a Baldur's Gate thing,) says Beamdog president and creative director Trent Oster. (It can never be small. It always has to get bigger and bigger.) He's talking about Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, which started life in 2011, in Trent's words, as a little piece of DLC that would cost around $2. With a storyline that fits between the new enhanced editions of Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II, it was supposed to ship as a bridge to those two titles before the second one was released.
(It grew in scope and we realized we were tight on time and needed to put more effort into Baldur's Gate II ahead of its launch, so Dragonspear went on the backburner. When we came back and re-examined it had become a fifteen-hour expansion. At that stage it was still going to be DLC, although for a little more money,) Oster says.
(This was around fall 2014,) says writer Amber Scott as she picks up the story. (At that point it was just too crowded. We'd designed so much great stuff that when we started doing the test playthroughs you'd walk five feet and a quest would trigger, then in another five feet more NPCs would run up to you to offer other quests. So rather than cut content, we added extra areas so we could spread it out a bit and make it more fun and relaxing to play.)
Working alongside Cowboys & Aliens comic-book scribe Andrew Foley, Scott pitched additional dungeons and other areas to lead designer Phil Daigle, to house the glut of monsters and side quests. Other Beamdog staff also suggested more wilderness areas for open-world exploration, to expand the map even further. As the $2 piece of DLC continued to grow, the art team working on it reached around 35 people. Oster says Siege of Dragonspear now offers around twenty-five to thirty hours of gameplay. (That's if you play the critical path and don't do much besides, so it's fitting for the legacy of Baldur's Gate,) he adds proudly.