View Full Version : Yet ANOTHER Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 Interview

04-29-2003, 11:06 AM
Source: Armchair Empire

What’s are two things you learned while developing the original Dark Alliance that are being implemented in the sequel?

"While developing"... well, though Black Isle helped with Dark Alliance's dialog, audio, and quality assurance, the engine, level design and artwork was the work of Snowblind Studios. Still, I'd like to think we picked up on a few things. For instance, characters with largely passive abilities (spells and feats) often aren't as entertaining to use as characters with many active abilities--for instance, Kromlech the dwarven fighter as opposed to Adrianna with all her spells or Vahn with his various special arrow attacks. As such, we're making certain that all five initially playable characters have a healthy number of both passive and active abilities, even in early levels.

Another example is general level design--early areas in the first game had a "deliberately crafted" feel, with environmental hazards, simple puzzles, secret areas, encounters that required a degree of tactics, and so on. Later in the game, as development went on and the dreaded shipping date loomed ever closer, levels began to feel more like a sort of "monster-filled maze" as development was pressured to just wrap things up... and the effect on the game was apparent to some fans. As such, we're designing levels as far ahead of time as possible, both on paper and in the editor as tile sets become available, to avoid just that.

How much character customization will be made available? Part of the attraction of Dark Alliance for non-D&D fans was just being able to jump right in with a pre-made character.

When the team refers to improved character customization, we're talking about in-game... enough abilities (again, spells and feats) and combat skills that a character can only master a handful of them in one play-through, ability scores with a more significant effect on the game (making that extra point every four levels--as well as magic items that modify statistics--that much more precious), an item creation system that allows players to craft the specific equipment that they want to use (e.g. take a weapon of wounding you don't need and use the materials to make a breastplate that boosts your HP a bit each time you're struck), etc.

The five initial characters are still "pre-made" in the sense that their classes, genders, and so on are already in place. In fact, perhaps more so than in the original... each character has a background story and a reason for adventuring that's reflected in their dialogs and abilities, character-specific side quests, unique armor styles (i.e. all five characters have different-looking half plate armor, etc.), and more.

Will people who still have their gamesaves from the original Dark Alliance be able to import their characters into Dark Alliance 2?

Heh-heh, I can't really comment on that. But I will say that no, the player can't just start the game for the very first time and load up their 32nd-level Adrianna or whatever.

Five Acts and 40 ( ) levels is quite a bit bigger than the original – at least on paper. Will the environments be bigger, with more to accomplish (other than slaying monsters)?

Most levels will be just as large--if not larger--than the original game's levels, and hopefully with quite a bit more to do on them.

We're trying to design all the levels with a minimum of three "defining interactive concepts" (aside from encounters and treasure) each, for example "this one has swinging pendulum traps, a secret door that leads to a bonus level, and key that opens a door in another area, but this one has crumbling tiles over pits, a teleportation trap puzzle to solve, and an altar that affects whatever item is put on it one time." Stuff like that. Not everything will be possible, certainly--it never is in game development --but it should go a long way towards keeping the areas entertaining from beginning to end.

What character classes will there be to choose from?

We're not officially announcing the character classes just yet. I will say, though, that we have the four basic D&D archetypes: mighty fightin' character, crazy offensive magic character, stalwart defensive/buffing magic character, and crafty skill-based character. And the fifth character? Oh ho ho! Should be fun.

Drizzt Do'Urden was an unlockable character in Dark Alliance. Will any popular characters from the Forgotten Realms be making an appearance in Dark Alliance 2 as unlockable characters or otherwise?

Heh, I can't comment on that one either. Sorry! But it wouldn't it be entertaining if you could play a two-player game with Drizzt and, you know, that one other character? IT SURE WOULD.

This is really shaping up to be something awesome!

04-29-2003, 01:11 PM
ThanX Brevity!

BG1 was a blast... Many a rum-n-coke were drunk with the wife while playing this one. I'm really looking forward to BG2.

Co-op just ROCKS!