Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Interview

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Eschalon: Book II

Developer:Overhaul Games
Release Date:2012-11-28
  • Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Isometric
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
Considering that it's been over 12 years since we were introduced to our Bhaalspawn heritage, it's pretty amazing to see just how much excitement Overhaul Games was able to drum up with their announcement of a Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. And while we've learned a lot about the revision's scope through Twitter, we felt it was important to bring you as much information as we could in traditional Q&A fashion. So without further adieu, here's our brand new interview with Overhaul/Beamdog founder Trent Oster:

GB: So what exactly is Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition? What should we expect when it hits later this summer?

Trent: Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is the best version of Baldur's Gate we could imagine. We've added new content in the form of new adventures, new characters and new items. We've rebuilt the User Interface to make it work on all resolutions and aspect ratio screens. We've rebuilt the rendering system to utilize display hardware for better graphics, better performance and we've brought the game to new platforms. Basically it will be the Baldur's Gate you remember, but broadly improved.

GB: When did you first come up with the idea to work on such a project, and what was the reaction from Wizards of the Coast and Atari when you approached them about it?

Trent: Shortly after leaving Bioware and partnering with Cameron to found Beamdog in 2009, we made a list of 20 or so games we felt needed to be updated. Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 were at the top of that list. We dug into the ownership and began talking with Atari regarding the games in 2010. The initial approach was rough as it took a while to get the right message to the right set of ears. Once we had a basic understanding of the goals, we started working out the legal details. Since the deal had so many stakeholders (Bioware, EA, Hasbro, Wizards of the Coast, Atari and Beamdog) it took a long while to get the specifics worked out. Our initial proposal was to build an HD version of Baldur's Gate until we discovered Bioware had lost almost all of the source art and as such an HD version was impossible. We were devastated. But we picked ourselves up and re-scoped around the idea of "enhancing" the existing version with new features and new content while bringing it to new platforms. As is, we've had a very hard time keeping ourselves in check and not going overboard with the updates and fixes.

GB: We understand that BG:EE will include Tales of the Sword Coast, but are you adding any new quests, items, and characters of your own?

Trent: Yes, BG:EE includes the Tales of the Sword Coast as a part of the game. We are adding new items, quests and characters to the game. We've been busy building a very solid adventure creation team over the last year and the new content is looking great. We've even brought back a number of former Baldur's Gate team members to help out.

GB: Can you give us an example of one of the new characters you're adding to the game, and how he or she will fit in to the original storyline? How about an example or two from the new items?

Trent: We're not really ready to talk much about the new characters and their storylines. What I can say is at least one of the new characters is found along the main story path and he brings some baggage with him. Item-wise, we're just trying to fill out the magical item selection for some of the new characters classes and kits.