Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Interview
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The folks at RPGWatch have interviewed Beamdog developers Alex Tomovic, Liam Esler and Pete Camagna about their upcoming Enhanced Edition of Icewind Dale and, as you might imagine, most of the questions focus on what's changed compared to the original edition of Black Isle's gorgeous dungeon crawler. Here's a snippet:
RPGWatch: Being able to play Icewind Dale on my tablet without going through a lot of hassle is cool, but what do you think is the real added value that the game brings that I can't achieve with a modded version of the original on a PC?
Alex: IWD:EE works on modern operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) and mobile platforms (iOS and Android) right out of the box. Beamdog is fully dedicated to providing continual support for it in the future. Of course, all of the engine improvements from the previous Enhanced Edition games (zooming capability, quick loot bar, cross-platform multiplayer...) are also available in IWD:EE. There's also a slew of small UI tweaks (such as seeing more spells on each page of the spellbook and having a visual indicator that tells you which spell scrolls you haven't memorized yet) that make your experience a bit more enjoyable. Lastly, while updating the engine, we did our best to make the game more accessible to the modding community. A lot of features that were hardcoded and beyond the reach of modders in the original Icewind Dale can be adjusted with ease in IWD:EE.
RPGWatch: Do you make use of already existing mods and integrate them in the Enhanced Edition?
Pete: Yes! One of the keys to the rapid development schedule was that the backbone of IWD:EE was provided by the IWD-in-BG2 project, a joint mod between myself and David Wallace, who actually did most of the work. Fixes from my IWD Fixpack are also included, and we've also incorporated parts of IU and UB. UB is a mod to restore original cut content, and with the original design docs, we were able to make further restorations beyond what the mod does, and to make them closer to the original intent. IU is a small content mod that allows us to tell a little more of the story behind some of IWD's great items.
RPGWatch: How are the BG2 spells going to be integrated? Will all mages in the game have access to these additional spells?
Alex: All BG2 spell scrolls were meticulously hand-placed after careful balance considerations. Some are available in stores, others were added to certain areas, and yet others were given to specific opponents. We wanted to ensure that players get the spells that are appropriate for their level, but at the same time, we didn't want to shift the game balance too drastically in the party's favor. In addition, a few powerful enemy spellcasters have been given access to certain BG2 spells, mostly of the anti-magic kind.