Divinity: Original Sin 2 Leaked, Then Announced (Update: NPC Schedules & Day/Night Cycles Proposed)

As the tweet above indicates, Larian Studios wasn’t able to keep the announcement of Divinity: Original Sin 2 under wraps for quite long enough. They’ve since gone on to formally reveal their plans to make the game, and have even launched a basic website for it. You won’t find much there other than some artwork and the option to sign up for an email list, although there is a link to a survey in which they’re collecting ideas for Kickstarter rewards.

Because, yes, Original Sin 2 will be coming to Kickstarter on August 26th.

We’re saving the announcement of all the features for when the Kickstarter campaign launches on August 26th, so I won’t discuss those just yet. Instead, I thought I’d talk a little bit about why we’re returning to crowdfunding, and what our hopes and aspirations are.

Divinity: Original Sin wouldn’t be the game it was without the input from our Kickstarter backers & Steam Early Access players. There were a lot of them and they pushed us forwards in directions we hadn’t anticipated when we started development. To this day, our entire team is incredibly grateful for this. Our community was a critical factor for the success of the game. Without having that same community on board, I think it’s going to be very hard for us to achieve the goals we have with Divinity: Original Sin 2, and so we’ll do our very best to convince them to back us once again. The result at the end will be so much better if they do.

I’m hopeful that our players will find Divinity: Original Sin 2 a worthy cause to back though; it really goes beyond what’s been done so far in turn-based RPGs and it’s going to be a lot of fun to play. Actually, it already is and we’ll be showing a prototype at Pax Prime where people will be able to get a taste of it.

In his blog post about the game, Sven Vincke also explains just what the stakes are for Larian Studios:

…Divinity: Original Sin 2; our biggest and most ambitious RPG to date — one that will either sink us, or go on to be remembered as our best game ever!

But he also offers some reassurance as to Larian’s readiness to take on the project:

Divinity: Original Sin 2 builds further on the foundations we’ve been laying with Divinity: Original Sin (D: OS), and Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition (D: OS EE). For us, this allows for an unprecedented focus on the gameplay. We won’t be “losing time” building the elementary systems that typically take up more than 60% of our development time. Instead, we can start building the world immediately and try out all kinds of things.

That also means we have much more room for fine-tuning. If we can convince our players to help us, then that should allow us to make a real diamond. When we made D: OS, we did a lot of experimentation with systems, constantly improving them and offering them to our players for feedback. I believe it was a shining example of the power of early access, which both provides a developer with feedback as well as the funding to integrate that feedback. It was also the best development process I’d ever seen.

Now that news about D:OS 2 is in the open, I can also talk a bit about the commercial reasoning behind making D:OS EE. By now, the investment we did in D:OS EE is beyond what most would consider reasonable, both financially and in terms of time we’ve been putting in. But, other than allowing us to perfect the game which I think always make commercial sense, the work that is being done on D:OS EE would in any case still have had to be done for D:OS 2. So it’s not as if we haven’t been moving forward. On the contrary, all the money we’re investing in D:OS EE is also investment in the tech that’s powering D:OS 2. And the tech can do a lot.

Put simply, if you were to compare what we’re doing to what Bioware did back in the day with Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2, D:OS 2 is to be our Baldur’s Gate 2 — building further on our equivalent of Baldur’s Gate; D:OS.

Divinity: Original Sin was a very good game, overall, though it didn’t quite capture the mantle of Ultima 7 (which it was built, in part, as a homage to). Here’s hoping that with the sequel, Larian Studios can implement the features they had to scrap (e.g. NPC schedules) from the first game, finally giving the Ultima series the modern successor it deserves.

The First Age of Update: Among the various things that have been proposed in the aforementioned survey are NPC schedules (suggested by Nemesis Dragon), and inclusion of day/night cycles. (Thanks, Infinitron, for pointing these out.)

The day/night cycle suggestion has received a goodly number of votes (as in: a few hundred) thus far, whereas the NPC schedules have received comparatively few votes. Might I suggest registering your support for both features, but in particular the schedules?