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A new development update for Baldur's Gate III lets us know that it will be getting a new early access update before the year is out and that the game is still on track to go live in 2023. And with that out of the way, we get a behind the scenes developer diary that revolves around motion capture.
Check it out:
Like a team of infernal reindeer, the next major update for Baldur’s Gate 3 is coming in for a smooth yuletide landing — yes, new features will be live before the year is out, accompanied by a festive Panel From Hell that will give you a peek at what’s to come in 2023!
In the Community Update accompanying that Panel From Hell, we’ll go into detail about some of the most discussed topics in the community. The good news is that we’re on track for release in 2023 – and we’ll have more on that in December. Acts 2 and 3 of the story are being actively playtested to ensure they’re up to the same level of polish and you’ll soon discover that there’s much more in the works (or already complete) than what you’ll encounter in an Early Access playthrough. Our goal is for even the players who have repeated Act 1 over and over again for hundreds of hours to feel like there’s a whole new experience in store for them at launch.
We're still paying close attention to all your feedback, bug reports, comments, your fan art and jokes – they sustain us, so please keep them coming or we will grow desperate and you’ll discover us consuming pigs’ blood in the middle of a Belgian motorway like a certain vampire spawn. Whatever it takes to get the game out, you know?
In all seriousness though, it takes time to tell a great story, implement feedback, and iterate on such a large game, so we want to thank you for your patience as we get closer to Patch 9.
We’ll see you in December – the dress code is “Christmas from Hell”. 🎄😈
Behind the Scenes: Motion Capture
We’ve just opened up a new, dedicated motion capture space in Guildford, so while we have you here and we’re telling you things, we thought we’d give you a little peek behind the betentacled curtain into one of the most important tools in our storytelling arsenal: our motion capture tech.
We have been working with motion capture for years, with mocap-ready studio spaces constructed at our offices in Ghent, Kuala Lumpur, Quebec and Dublin.
Having multiple locations has meant that each team could be empowered to try out new ideas, experimenting upon and refining animations without having to wait for another studio to come online. Having spaces across the globe also meant we could capture data anytime over the 24 hour period, allowing for continuous development.
Early on, we began using XSens’ full-body motion capture which allowed animators and designers to quickly monitor and review data even when working from home — something that proved pretty helpful during lockdown. We integrated StretchSense gloves to improve the speed we can get finger data into the engine and completed major overhauls to our pipelines to allow the Optical Performance Capture data to be quickly imported into our build. But as we first began development on Baldur’s Gate 3, we knew in order to achieve a truly cinematic feel we’d need to improve the quality of our technology and the speed of our mocap pipeline.
So we decided to expand on this idea last year with the launch of Larian Guildford; our first studio in the UK.
England has a wealth of talented performance capture artists and we knew we wanted to start working with them, but the biggest challenge would be to find a space large enough for the kind of choreography we require. Many locations were visited, measured, and considered before we finally settled on our current office* — an ideal location nestled in between a bustling high street and a place that sells 12 different kinds of sausage rolls.
The Larian Guildford Mocap Facility is big. This is the largest mocap space we have at Larian, measuring 14m x 12m, and currently features 40 Vantage V16 Cameras and 3 additional reference cameras, all running through our VFX motion capture software. With a studio of this size we can easily record a dozen mocap actors at once — capturing everything from complex movements and gestures to stunt work with props.
Bringing Baldur’s Gate 3 to life has been an incredible experience and we can’t wait for you to see the results come launch.
If you want to be part of this story, we are looking for new blood to help run the studio, producers and tech. Keep an eye out for listings.
And until then, we’ll just say see ya soon — there’s more information about the next patch still to come. Watch this space!
*Of course, no Larian studio could be complete without an induction into our grandest tradition of all: soggy carpets. Yes, like our Belgian studio in 2020, our new Guildford office got a light baptism of its own this year in the form of some pretty insistent British weather. Luckily it was only a very minor hiccup and we were able to seal the leak using a pie barm.