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The Broken Hourglass For posts concerning Planewalker Games' CANCELLED non-D&D CRPG inspired by Baldur's Gate 2.

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Old Thu, 3rd Apr '08, 5:24pm   #1
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Best Chance for a BG2 Spiritual Successor?

We regularly post news about any TBH developments on the front page, so most of you are familiar with TBH by now.

For those of you still in the dark (or needing to refresh your memory), check out our interview with Jason Compton.

How much of a deterrent is the absence of D&D rules and the Forgotten Realms setting going to be to you?
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Old Thu, 3rd Apr '08, 5:30pm   #2
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Heh, when you said TBH I assumed it stood for "The Black Hound," aka Baldur's Gate 3. I got a little excited there ...
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Old Thu, 3rd Apr '08, 5:33pm   #3
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That TBH is dead and buried... There was talk of Sawyer recreating it as a NWN2 module, but I doubt that's ever going to happen. So for all intents and purposes, TBH today stands only for The Broken Hourglass.
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Old Thu, 3rd Apr '08, 6:02pm   #4
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Depends on how long it would take to try and learn some different rules.
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Old Thu, 3rd Apr '08, 6:07pm   #5
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Absolutely no deterrent from my perspective. The use of interactive dialogue to advance a good storyline, coupled with an immersive gameworld, and the result will be strong gaming regardless of ruleset.

Plus, JCompton has shortcircuited two big challenges to building stable immersive games.

1. He has a development cycle which is longer, meaning more time to build a stable and consistent game without the spectre of bankrupcy or the house dropping the project - giving the writers and coders the freedom to say "what if we..." that one or two more times where a big house would say "good enough - scrap this, scrap that, push it out, and we'll patch it later".
2. He successfully brought the old guard (and one or two newbie) modders from PPG, who were known (to him) quantities, and (I assume) has made the most of their strengths and weaknesses. This means folks who were irked enough with the difficulties of other games, and have proven themselves willing to build new content at their own time and expense *just to get it right* have been allowed to say "I liked that, I didn't like that". I wish all development teams were like that.

So no deterrent at all. A new world to explore, and good stuff. And a development team that will know things from a modder perspective, so the replayability and community extension is likely to be strong.
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Old Fri, 4th Apr '08, 1:08am   #6
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Hardly any. Forgotten Realms much less so than D&D rules.

I have mixed feelings for different rules. On the one hand it makes it more difficult to jump in and know what you're doing; on the other it's fun to learn new things and experiment.
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Old Fri, 4th Apr '08, 10:22am   #7
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As much as I love D&D and the FR setting, the red-tape of using this IP in computer games seems to hurt more than it helps these days. Last I checked, Atari owned the rights to all D&D based computer games (haven't been paying attention to any possible recent changes here). This, in my humble opinion, is reason enough to avoid making D&D CRPGs.

At any rate, the BG series is hands down my favorite computer game of all time. It is truly a joy to see that several longtime BG2 modders are trying to recapture the essence of what made the game good. If they are successful in doing that, it won't matter a lick to me that it's not a D&D setting.

This project gives me hope. I hope it's wildly successful. I hope that it opens the doors to many more games built in the same spirit. I hope that it serves to restore some of my lost faith in the future of CRPGs.

Thanks to the dev team for your initiative here.
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Old Fri, 4th Apr '08, 8:42pm   #8
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I was a FPS playet until I stumbled over the BG2 demo. I hardly have played shooters since. I have a map of Toril as desktop, I have all the big dragons, and more than a hundred miniatures scattered around my house. Yes it got out of hand.

However I have faith in the people of TBH. Everybody started small, even Bioware. 20 years from now it is possible that they own a big company, or not. Until then we applaud every etc etc. No I do not mind, but it hurts. I am a big boy I won't cry.
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Old Sat, 5th Apr '08, 2:44am   #9
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Well, I'm really looking forward to this. Any info on when it might be released? I'm looking for a year (maybe a quarter), not a specific date. (Duke Nukem Whatever comes to mind.)
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Old Sat, 5th Apr '08, 4:00pm   #10
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There's no set release date at the moment. At least there wasn't when I checked last.
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Old Wed, 9th Apr '08, 3:18pm   #11
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Hmmm...somehow I managed to not know about any of this until now. Considering JC and Wes are 'partners' in this endevor, I'm expecting some great NPCs with tons of voiced interparty dialog.

I certainly hope things go well...
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Old Wed, 9th Apr '08, 11:23pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taluntain View Post
How much of a deterrent is the absence of D&D rules and the Forgotten Realms setting going to be to you?
None. There have been some great D&D and FR games, and some atrocious ones. The system and the world do not guarantee a good game. If Planewalker Games manage to create a good system and a good world then I'm all for it.

I've got to say I'm really excited about the game!
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Old Fri, 18th Apr '08, 12:19am   #13
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It may take a little while to learn their rules, but the lack of D&D 2.0 won't bother me. And TBH not using Forgotten Realms is less of a deterrent than the Infinity Engine games not taking place in Greyhawk, the real D&D setting (if you're ancient like me)
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Old Fri, 18th Apr '08, 6:45pm   #14
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TBH not using Forgotten Realms is less of a deterrent than the Infinity Engine games not taking place in Greyhawk, the real D&D setting
That's a very valid point actually.

I was thinking about this and remembered that the majority of people who have played PST consider it to be a superior game to BG and IWD, even though PST doesn't take place in the Forgotten Realms. I suppose that's another reason why the different setting doesn't bother me.
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Old Sat, 19th Apr '08, 11:27pm   #15
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I'm surprised that the fact this game will lack D&D rules and FR setting was even brought up. What does it matter? nothing! If a game is good then it's good. Honestly I'm happy they didn't make it a D&D game

1- Atari owns the rights, meh!
2- I'm tired of the black and white, good vs evil, absolutely no gray area of most DnD stuff
3- Atari!!

However, isn't this a forum about D&?D CRPGs? At least in theory
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Old Mon, 21st Apr '08, 2:45am   #16
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Wow, this is the first I've heard of this. As for the setting and rules change, I have no problem with it. Forgotten Realms is a beautiful and wonderfully developed setting, yes, but it's been done... a lot. Variety is nice. As for D&D version whatever rules, I've never been a big fan of them myself. IMO BG, BG2, and PS:T were great games in spite of teh D&D rules more than because of them.

As to the direct title of the topic, do you all think this will be closer to a spiritual successor than Dragon Age? There are a lot of evident similarities: new setting, new rules, gradient saves in stead of binary ones, etc.; but also a lot of differences: point buy leveling, constant mana values, enchanted items using mana. All in all, I think this sounds encouraging, but DA does have several of the original BG2 writting team, as well. Of course, this genre is thin enough these days that I won't complain about multiple titles competing for that level of quality.

Does any one have even a guess about the release date? DA will likely be coming out within a year, though that's not official. How long has TBH been in development?
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Old Wed, 23rd Apr '08, 2:05am   #17
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I've been reading the developer's journals on this one for awhile and am pretty excited. Ofcourse, good ideas don't neccesarily make a good game, but I think this title has the best chance to recreate some of the feel of BG. Dragon age might be a great game, but I think it will feel very different than BG.
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Old Thu, 24th Apr '08, 1:53pm   #18
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I really love the Fallout games even though they have their own ruleset and a completely different setting. As long as the story is good and the mechanics are good, then it'll be fun.
The problem, for me, is the reliance of cutting edge graphics and, in particular, 3D. When I was still writing for games mags at the end of the 90s I wrote a column moaning all about how 3D was ruining RPGs. What I feared then has come to pass now. If a game doesn't look amazing it won't sell, and if it won't sell, it won't get made. Hardcore roleplayers like us get ignored.
What I miss, most of all, is parties, and this was my biggest criticism about NWN. I really felt the lack of party interaction.
I have played and enjoyed solo games like Morrowind (and hell, Ultima Underworld for that matter) but it's the party dynamic that keeps me going back to BG/2 and PS:T over and over.
I even enjoy parties in the IWD games - although they don't say anything, at least you have six characters to muck around with, level and develop, and in my own mind they had fun personalities of their own.
The characters in Fallout 2 (more so than Fallout 1 where they didn't do or say much at all) were also pretty good - probably on a par with BG 1 in terms of interactivity - I loved the little stuff like Cassidly moaning about his dodgy heart or being able to take Marcus to the Cat's Paw and everyone clapping after he had been serviced by the prostitute.
This is what I miss with newer games, and I want to see it return!
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Old Tue, 29th Apr '08, 7:45am   #19
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This is what I miss with newer games, and I want to see it return!
What, more games with mutants in *****houses?
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Old Thu, 1st May '08, 2:53pm   #20
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Ha ha! Parties with characters who feel as though they have a bit of life to them. (Humour always helps, mind...)
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Old Thu, 8th May '08, 5:42am   #21
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Hmm. Does this mean no de'Arnise romance? Bah.

Still, jcomton is well known for his high quality stuff. It's interesting to see that ten years after it came out, BG2 is still attracting modders...pretty much every NPC who has a name is joinable now...hmm.

Wonder when they'll make a mod based on that ettin in the Sahuagin gladiatorial ring.

EDIT: Holy crap de'Arnise romance released. Looks like I have to reinstall BG2 now!
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Old Thu, 8th May '08, 6:19am   #22
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Wonder when they'll make a mod based on that ettin in the Sahuagin gladiatorial ring.
You would be referring to the Mongo mod, I believe.

Speaking of mods, hopefully TBH will be modable!
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Old Thu, 8th May '08, 9:08am   #23
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You would be referring to the Mongo mod, I believe.
You got me there.

Given the fact that jcompton and Weimer both started out as modders, I don't doubt that it'll be moddable. I hope they make the game dialogue-based, but seeing as how it's a *Baldur's Gate* spiritual successor I don't think that'll be the case. Oh well.
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Old Wed, 21st May '08, 5:13pm   #24
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Looking forward to this.
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Old Sun, 25th May '08, 7:22pm   #25
Merlanni
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This can be one of those surprises.
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