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#422490 - 10/13/10 01:39 PM Status update
Lar_q Offline



Registered: 12/07/06
Posts: 744
Hello again everybody,

I found some time to give you a new update on what's been keeping us busy. No big thoughts, well perhaps one, but first
the build overview as I know at least a couple of you are eager to get their hands on our next releases:

The Dragon Knight Saga (PC, German) - Gold and being manufactured as we speak. I think there's a chance you can start seeing it appear in shops in the week of October 25th already.

The Dragon Knight Saga (PC - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish) - Ready, we're doing some last things on the installer, and it should head off to the manufacturing plant today (so basically, you can consider it gold).

The Dragon Knight Saga (Xbox 360 - English, French, Italian, Spanish version) - We've just received word that it's passed certification so printing should commence soon enough, in time for a November 5th release

The Dragon Knight Saga (Xbox 360 - German+French) - In the last stages of certification

Flames Of Vengeance (English, French, Italian, Spanish) - English/French are ready except for the installers, Italian/Spanish are in final QA.

We still have some work on the polish and russian versions.

While I'm in the business of giving build overviews, two Monkey Tales adventures will also be launching next week (dutch version only). We expect international versions to be released early next year.

Monkey Tales will be available for download through The Larian Vault, our own online shop, which will launch simultanously.

And the cool thing is that Monkey Tales won't be the only thing that'll be available there - The Dragon Knight Saga, Flames Of Vengeance and the previous Divinities will also be available for download there. So if you feel like supporting us directly and you're in to digital distribution, come have a look in a week or two and check it out for yourself. It's part of our making ourselves even more independent strategy, and if the Larian Vault turns out to be successful, we'll probably do more through that in the future. As an experiment, we've made the Monkey Tales games exclusive to the Larian Vault whereas all the Divinities will remain available through all kinds of other digital and retail channels.

Also, for those of you in Belgium, TMF has a show called Gametown which is aired 4 times a week, and we've been told The Dragon Knight Saga features in the 20-10-10 show. And check out the newspapers somewhere next week when Monkey Tales will launch - there should be quite some coverage.

Now in case you're wondering, despite the crazy list of releases we have this month, the stuff that keeps me the most busy for the moment is our next RPG (on which work has started) and a speech I have to give in a month or so. More about the speech in a second as I could use some input, but first a little bit about the next RPG coming from Larian. No third parties are involved yet so I can pretty much say whatever I want about it, but the concepts are still converging, so I won't give too many details yet. What I can say is that it's quite different from our previous work, should still feel very familiar to Divinity fans and contains an idea I'm pretty fond of, so I hope it'll work out well (read, I don't think it's been done by anybody else yet)

Undoubtedly I'll talk about it in more detail later on and actually I'm hoping that we can make the development of this one very open so you can see what's happening as we develop it, and take a more active role in making suggestions, a bit like when we made the first Divinity. I'll keep you posted if we find a way of making that work without having to throw our unique selling points into the open too soon, but I've seen so many intelligent things written down in these forums, that I think it'd be stupid as a developer not to take take more advantage of it (that probably came out wrong, but I hope you get what I mean).

Our ability to do that will be pretty much dependent on the level of publisher involvement, and that'll depend on how good this vault thing works (shameless pitch intended ;\) ), the better it works, the less involvement there'll be. Personally, I much preferred developing on Divinity 1, where we were lucky enough that the publisher didn't really bother about what we were doing, and I could just react with changes in the game immediately on what I saw happening in this forum (yes for those new here, it's been around for quite some time and it's a pity that it crashed once and we lost all the old posts - if you see a white cat in Divinity games, he was born in these forums - as a matter of fact, many of the features in the original Divinity were born in this forum )

Anyways, I'm talking prematurely, and things can still change, but I just wanted to share what I'd like to do - business being business, it doesn't mean it's going to be like that, but it's what I'd like.

That said, the speech thing. I do quite a few of these and usually manage ok I guess, but this time I find that I might have accepted to speak at this particular conference a bit to soon - you see, the topic is nothing less than "tell us what the future of the interactive industry" will be like. I said yes because I thought I had a pretty good idea, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I actually don't know, can't know most likely.

So I figured I'd ask the question here - where do you think the games industry will be in say 20-30 years ? Will we have virtual reality ? Will it be far away ? Will we all have 3D display contact lenses and mind-control interfaces ? Or will we be playing on a Playstation 6 in a similar way than we do today ? Will there even be such a thing as a Playstation 6 ? Perhaps everything will happen in our browsers ? Will we still have browsers ? Will they look like the Minority Report interfaces ? And so forth... I really could use some helpful insights as I only have a couple of weeks left before the thing needs to be ready ;\)

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#422493 - 10/13/10 03:19 PM Re: Status update [Re: Lar_q]
Joram Offline

veteran

Registered: 04/02/05
Posts: 2864
Loc: Between Belgium and Rivellon ....
Hello LAr and other people,

First a big thank for your update! It's always nice to read them.

I will thinking over the questions you asked us about the future of the gaming industry. The first thing that comes in my mind is SF movies and their "high" technology etc ... maybe later more some of my thoughts ....

I look out for the show Gametown on TMF \:D

The Larian Vault: great news! I hope I can buy Monkey Tales to see how educative this game is ... for children in the famely or just for myself
Just 2 questions I wish to ask:
  • Divine Divnity : I Hope the version on Larian Vault haven't any problems with the turn of the soundstracks? GOG can't give me any help.
  • Can I buy with Paypal or ... ? (I have no credit card)

Now I understand why I find DD soo a good RPG ... it's maked like you wish to make your next game, very great news ... you make me also very curious about the next game, a RPG I suppose ? ;\)

Thanks for all answers and see you later on this great forum !
Joram
_________________________
On 4th of july 2014 : I start my very first adventure in the Divinity world of Original Sin after reading the Game Manual of great knowledge wink
So far Divinty Original Sin is absolutely beating my expectations !

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#422495 - 10/13/10 05:10 PM Re: Status update [Re: Joram]
DivineGamer Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/19/09
Posts: 793
Loc: UK
So your next game may not be under DTP, not that I have a problem with...?
Glad your hoping to give us a inside peek on your next game often.

Looking forward to see the changes on the X360 DKS.
Although I can't see myself buying it on release...don't worry I'll support you guys.
_________________________

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#422497 - 10/13/10 05:37 PM Re: Status update [Re: DivineGamer]
Darkhan Offline

stranger

Registered: 07/09/10
Posts: 20
Great news on that front. Still debating between FoV & DKS myself (PC).

Just wanted to pass a comment on the Larian store. I don't mind Digital distribution at all, but for myself, a couple of things are critical.

1- Availability: if you download say DKS, is it a one-shot and then you're screwed ? Limited time / Limited number of downloads or account unlimited.

2- DRM: DRM is always a deal breaker for me. I understand the need for companies to protect themselves and I respect that. But many DRM implementations protect at a heavy cost to paying customers. (limited installs/no revocation/Rootkits) etc. Its a fine line between protection and creating small disasters for some users. So please think about it very carefully.

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#422501 - 10/13/10 07:22 PM Re: Status update [Re: Darkhan]
DivineGamer Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/19/09
Posts: 793
Loc: UK
Oh Yeah Lar.
Any chance of you releasing Comparison Shots?
Especially X36O...since you do say the difference is huge.
_________________________

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#422503 - 10/13/10 08:40 PM Re: Status update [Re: DivineGamer]
Libertarian Offline
addict

Registered: 11/07/09
Posts: 407
I thank you for the update. I love reading these.

Anyway, I'm glad that you guys/gals put so much heart and soul into making a better looking and playing experience with the Dragon Knight Saga. I just hope the Xbox 360 version makes it to the United States.
_________________________
My Favorite RPGs: Divinity franchise, Gothic franchise (including Arcania, so I think I'm alone...), Venetica, Risen, Two Worlds II, The Witcher, Sacred franchise, Fallout franchise, Mass Effect 1, Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Drakensang, KOTOR 1 & 2, etc.

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#422509 - 10/13/10 11:40 PM Re: Status update [Re: Libertarian]
virumor Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/14/09
Posts: 769
I'm really intrigued about Larian's next RPG. Looking forward to hearing more about it!

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#422673 - 10/19/10 05:29 AM Re: Status update [Re: Lar_q]
LightningLockey Offline

old hand

Registered: 05/05/03
Posts: 735
3D technology is not for everyone. People without depth perception cannot see 3D, I'm one of them. 3D to us looks really bad at times. Technology-wise, I can see holographic projections of a 3D gaming world.

The Nintendo Wii hit it hard and for a system that gets low markings on the graphical technology, it is doing quite well with the physical interaction of the player. It's only a matter of time before that technology is incorporated into computers.

Moble devices are getting increasingly popular, you guys should make an imp-runner app for it. People will always want to play simple games like the original pac man and donkey kong that are easy to pick up and figure out how to control but hard to master.

Epic games are going to want to be played on the largest screen possible (until virtual holograms) with best sound system available. Online game are more geared for PvP, quite a few cater to the audiance of those that preferr PvE (player vs. environment).

Technology in displaying a game and how a user will interact with the avatar will be the only change, the foundation is solid and hasn't changed much since the DoS text based adventure games.

that is my thoughts as of now.
_________________________
Every time there I run into trouble on the road, there is always a dwarf at the bottom of it. Don't they know how to drive above ground?

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#422675 - 10/19/10 06:41 AM Re: Status update [Re: LightningLockey]
Raze Offline


Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 20977
Loc: Canada

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#422682 - 10/19/10 12:14 PM Re: Status update [Re: Raze]
melianos Offline

addict

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 503
Nice. That post only lacks a day for the release of Divinity 2 new patch \:\)

I think we shall not have any interface like in Minority Report, as they would lack some "touch" feeling.
Mind control interfaces ? I hope so, they made some tests a few months ago where disabled people could write stuff just with thinking.

3D ? Definitely, while indeed some movies in 3D are not that great (Avatar), others are really well made (Shreck 4).

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#422685 - 10/19/10 08:12 PM Re: Status update [Re: melianos]
Gwenio Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/10
Posts: 270
Graphics have been pushed pretty far all ready, and even with '3D' to help allow them to go farther I do not see there being enough advantage to offset the costs in going much farther till holograms (or virtual reality where it seems you are in the game world) are the standard display for games.

For games in general, the way forward is to have more game in them. This means more content, more/better/new types of gameplay, games that vary more in how they play in each play through (more random elements, particularly adding randomness to games with a strong story without hurting the story), and more imersive gameplay (making it feel like you are in the game, one thing that I think would really help would be things related to gameplay that cannot be expressed in numbers*). There is no one way to achieve these things, but without them games will never really progress.

* Mind reading is a step in this direction. It and other abilities like it (diviniation and wish in Baldur's Gate) help because they do not feel as mechanical as other abilities. In relation to RPGs, another area that I would like to see improved in this way is equipment. Currently the choice of equipment comes down to stats and how it looks. Specifically I would like to see sentient items that are an NPC in their own right.

Finally since it is interactitve games, motion (and other) controls should be addressed. The main thing for doing well as new controls enter the market is games need to really use them to there full advantange. An example of failing to do so is making a sword fighting game for the Wii (using the WiiMote) and having it play like a game made for a more tradition controller. Such a game should track the exact movement of the WiiMote for the movement of the weapon. On a similar note, the older forms of control should not be ignored in favor of what is new. Games should adept to work with many controllers and take full advantage of what each has to offer.

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#422693 - 10/19/10 10:15 PM Re: Status update [Re: Darkhan]
LightningLockey Offline

old hand

Registered: 05/05/03
Posts: 735
 Originally Posted By: Darkhan

2- DRM: DRM is always a deal breaker for me. I understand the need for companies to protect themselves and I respect that. But many DRM implementations protect at a heavy cost to paying customers. (limited installs/no revocation/Rootkits) etc. Its a fine line between protection and creating small disasters for some users. So please think about it very carefully.


DRM isn't part of the game. It is anti-fraud technology that is used on multiple media. Examples are CD's, DVD's, Movies, E-books, and of course Games.

DRM is a failure because those that want to steal will wait until the crack is released or learn to crack it themselves. Those that are willing to pay will be irritated to put up with a failed technology. Also has been known to create instability with the purchased media and operating systems. Sony DRM has made it harder to kill malware that costs millions of dollars in damages to many businesses and home users around the world annually. The real kick in the ass is that people have to pay to get their stuff DRM protected.

DRM is a success because it buys a little time that only legit customers can use the media they purchased. This success can be a month or two to as little as half a day. At the cost of the above paragraph.

Though we hate DRM and most likely it's forced on by all game companies by publishers or insurance companies they have contracts with. If you like the software then buy it. If you don't financially support a company they will become extinct. Lar has shared their close calls of this happening before the product went live. Game developers need Pizza and Mountain Dew (or Pepsi) too. :P

I do like the move of Larian to get as independent as possible. Perhaps that is the future of all developers as well.


Edited by LightningLockey (10/19/10 10:19 PM)
_________________________
Every time there I run into trouble on the road, there is always a dwarf at the bottom of it. Don't they know how to drive above ground?

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#422695 - 10/19/10 10:49 PM Re: Status update [Re: LightningLockey]
Gwenio Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/10
Posts: 270
 Originally Posted By: LightningLockey
Though we hate DRM and most likely it's forced on by all game companies by publishers or insurance companies they have contracts with. If you like the software then buy it. If you don't financially support a company they will become extinct. Lar has shared their close calls of this happening before the product went live. Game developers need Pizza and Mountain Dew (or Pepsi) too. :P

I do like the move of Larian to get as independent as possible. Perhaps that is the future of all developers as well.


As not all game companies use DRM (Stardock), it would seem that there is a choice.

One of the main diffrences to consider when buying digitally when compared to a store selling physical media is if they are likely to stick around in case you need to redownload. In this a single developer is at a disadvantage when compared to a service selling games from many developers. If a few other devs (number depending on if any of the others are companies that make games I might buy) were to sell through the vault, then I would seriously consider buying game through it (assuming about equal price and DRM/copy protection that is not too much of a pain).

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#422698 - 10/19/10 11:13 PM Re: Status update [Re: Gwenio]
Raze Offline


Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 20977
Loc: Canada

Actually, re-downloading isn't a problem if you make a backup or two. IMO the main risk with downloadable distribution (in terms of companies going out of business) is if there is online activation required to install or play the game. This could be fixed by having a patch created (and maintained if there are additional game patches) to remove the copy protection and held in case any authentication servers are shut down (for whatever reason) or some time limit passes and the game becomes old enough that there isn't enough revenue to justify needing copy protection.

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#422699 - 10/20/10 12:22 AM Re: Status update [Re: Raze]
Gwenio Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/10
Posts: 270
 Originally Posted By: Raze

Actually, re-downloading isn't a problem if you make a backup or two. IMO the main risk with downloadable distribution (in terms of companies going out of business) is if there is online activation required to install or play the game. This could be fixed by having a patch created (and maintained if there are additional game patches) to remove the copy protection and held in case any authentication servers are shut down (for whatever reason) or some time limit passes and the game becomes old enough that there isn't enough revenue to justify needing copy protection.


Yes, being able to archive it can reduce the importance of being able to download again, but after a flood were I live having the ability to get the game again without having to re-purchase is a perk of digital media in my view. Some games (Divine Divinity) are worth buying again if need be but others do not get played enough to be worth in (it seems that Beyond Divinity will be that way from what I have seen so far). While tge importance of the provider staying around varies between customers, it is a factor to take consideration.

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#422702 - 10/20/10 01:05 AM Re: Status update [Re: Lar_q]
MysterD Offline
addict

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 542
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
 Originally Posted By: Lar_q

Now in case you're wondering, despite the crazy list of releases we have this month, the stuff that keeps me the most busy for the moment is our next RPG (on which work has started) and a speech I have to give in a month or so. More about the speech in a second as I could use some input, but first a little bit about the next RPG coming from Larian. No third parties are involved yet so I can pretty much say whatever I want about it, but the concepts are still converging, so I won't give too many details yet. What I can say is that it's quite different from our previous work, should still feel very familiar to Divinity fans and contains an idea I'm pretty fond of, so I hope it'll work out well (read, I don't think it's been done by anybody else yet)

Undoubtedly I'll talk about it in more detail later on and actually I'm hoping that we can make the development of this one very open so you can see what's happening as we develop it, and take a more active role in making suggestions, a bit like when we made the first Divinity. I'll keep you posted if we find a way of making that work without having to throw our unique selling points into the open too soon, but I've seen so many intelligent things written down in these forums, that I think it'd be stupid as a developer not to take take more advantage of it (that probably came out wrong, but I hope you get what I mean).

Our ability to do that will be pretty much dependent on the level of publisher involvement, and that'll depend on how good this vault thing works (shameless pitch intended ;\) ), the better it works, the less involvement there'll be. Personally, I much preferred developing on Divinity 1, where we were lucky enough that the publisher didn't really bother about what we were doing, and I could just react with changes in the game immediately on what I saw happening in this forum (yes for those new here, it's been around for quite some time and it's a pity that it crashed once and we lost all the old posts - if you see a white cat in Divinity games, he was born in these forums - as a matter of fact, many of the features in the original Divinity were born in this forum )


I'm really curious what this next RPG you are working on is.
I'm really curious also what this feature is that you think nobody has done before. \:\)
Color me interested already!



Edited by MysterD (10/20/10 01:06 AM)

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#422739 - 10/21/10 08:14 AM Re: Status update [Re: Lar_q]
Joram Offline

veteran

Registered: 04/02/05
Posts: 2864
Loc: Between Belgium and Rivellon ....
 Originally Posted By: Lar_q

Also, for those of you in Belgium, TMF has a show called Gametown which is aired 4 times a week, and we've been told The Dragon Knight Saga features in the 20-10-10 show. And check out the newspapers somewhere next week when Monkey Tales will launch - there should be quite some coverage.


Have seen yesterday on TMF the Gametown show \:D !
Thanks for warning us about this publicity for the DKS ;\)

Can't wait for having my hands on the Dragon Knight Saga

I count the time .... just 15 days to go sleep and the relaese date of the Dragon knight Saga is reality ! \:-p
_________________________
On 4th of july 2014 : I start my very first adventure in the Divinity world of Original Sin after reading the Game Manual of great knowledge wink
So far Divinty Original Sin is absolutely beating my expectations !

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#422762 - 10/21/10 06:26 PM Re: Status update [Re: Joram]
-Elena- Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 106
Loc: The Netherlands
Is it possible to watch that Gametown show online somewhere??

You made me curious :P

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#422776 - 10/22/10 06:36 AM Re: Status update [Re: -Elena-]
Joram Offline

veteran

Registered: 04/02/05
Posts: 2864
Loc: Between Belgium and Rivellon ....
I did a search on the internet, but can't find something. \:\/
_________________________
On 4th of july 2014 : I start my very first adventure in the Divinity world of Original Sin after reading the Game Manual of great knowledge wink
So far Divinty Original Sin is absolutely beating my expectations !

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#422777 - 10/22/10 07:51 AM Re: Status update [Re: Joram]
LightningLockey Offline

old hand

Registered: 05/05/03
Posts: 735
Seems we can sum it up as in the way the game industry is headed for non-DRM media and no activation except for online gaming. The single thing most legit customers gripe about.
_________________________
Every time there I run into trouble on the road, there is always a dwarf at the bottom of it. Don't they know how to drive above ground?

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