Hi everyone! After 3 hectic weeks of Kickstarter madness, we are now nearing the end of our Kickstarter campaign for Divinity: Original Sin.

We are also the creators of Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity, Divinity II and Divinity: Dragon Commander.

We are here to answer any questions you may have about our Kickstarter, our games or our studio.

We are: - Swen Vincke (CEO & Creative Director) - David Walgrave (Producer) - Jan Van Dosselaer (Writer)

For verification (or a wallpaper), this is us: http://i.imgur.com/4dC5ueW.jpg

Feel free to visit our Kickstarter page

Edit: Swen won't be answering for a while now since he has to do a D:OS play session with Shacknews

Edit2: Swen is back! Reporter didn't show up!

Edit3: Thank you everybody for all the questions, the good ideas and the shows of support! We're back to the Kickstarter campaign now for a new update as we reached the 666666 stretch goal. If we find the time, we'll hop in again here and answer some more questions.

Comments: 487 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

Asyreon28 karma

Hello Swen/David/Jan, how are you ? I hope you're fresh and ready for the AMA, cause I have a good bunch of questions to ask =D

First, pardon me, it's my first time on reddit I have no idea how it works. I'll leave my questions as a massive block, I think it'll be more clear. Sorry if you notice these questions are familiars, I've made a few copy-paste from my previous questions which have been unanswered (I'm not intending to spam).

Here we go :

1) About the editor, how can two people or more share their work on a single map ? More exactly, if a crew of 2 people want to work on a map and decide to split the work, Person A working on such part of the map, Person B working on another part, can both of them gather all these modifications into a single map, a single file, at the end of the day ? If yes, how ? By "copy-pasting" everything that has been modified on a given scale ?

2) Talking about the editor, I assume you can design your own combination of items with it, may they emanate from the Vanilla game or from mods, right ?

3) You said there would be no mini-games. Is it a definitive position, or is it subject to changes ? Can the use of the editor allow us to design our own mini-games, or does it require an in-depth modification of the game (coding) ?

4) If the Kickstarter campaign fails to reach its 1 million stretch goal, do you plan on giving it another try in the future (after the release of DC for instance), or is it the end of the journey regarding crowdfunding (apart from the paypal thing I mean, which will last a little longer IIRC) ?

5) Can you use items during battles, and if yes can you give them to your partner while fighting ?

6) IIRC, you're aiming for a PEGI 16 classification, right ? Apart from the lore (which I assume will have its dark moments), does it mean there will be more gory effects than in the current pre-alpha ? I've seen a few blood spurt so far, but nothing which deserve a PEGI 16. I assume there will be more trash in the future ? If yes, how long will this trash remain on the ground ?

7) About the possibility to flee, what do you plan on doing about the penalty system if you can just reload the game from scratch (if you saved before the fight) ? It's one of the point stressed by Gragt in its preview that tickled me. If foes replenish their health/mana after a flee, wouldn't it diminish its negative impact on the gameplay ?

8) Can you freeze the lady in her bath (pyramids quest) and expose her as an ice statue in the middle of the city ?

9) Isn't the use of pyramids in prison, or interdimensional touch, be "exploitable" and make the prison break way to easy ? Still on the pyramids, can't their use be "exploitable" (in the negative sense, still) in dungeons which require to solve puzzles (For example, if you can throw your pyramid to a point otherwise unreachable to bypass the puzzle) ?

10) I've already asked this during the preview with Mairhe, but will you be able to center the camera on your partner ? I believe it's one important feature if you're far from him/her and wants to help him, somehow, for example if he/she's stuck on a puzzle. Or if you're just bored to wait for his/her help in a battle and want to spy him =)

On a side note, thank you. Just... Thank you, for everything (It's gonna be awesome !).

Larian_Swen17 karma

1: The editor is integrated with a source control system so that we can work on it with our entire team. We still need to decide if we'll release that part too (because it's integrated with perforce) but I guess if the editor is popular we'll come up with a solution that integrates with open source 2: Yes 3: No minigames from us. 4: For this game this is the last crowdfunding session, we want to release it this year 5: Yes 6: Gore etc... still need to be added 7: Still TBD 8:I never tried. You can't move her 9:Sure's it's an exploit, but who knows, maybe jailers learn 10:Yes

zigzagswild15 karma

How did the Kickstarter campaign live up to your expectations?

Larian_Swen32 karma

It went over them. The nightmare scenario was that people wouldn't understand why we were on Kickstarter and there exists many notebooks that contain draft after draft after draft of how to pitch it. Luckily it went well. I also never expected so much community feedback, I thought the gaming world had become a more cynical place but then I figured out that was because of all my dealings with the industry side. I decided for myself I'm not going to walk in that trap again. There's too many people in the games industry that don't belong there because they don't care about a) games, b) the people playing games.

pakoito12 karma

How far does the editor allow modding? Can we create single-map minigames like the Warcraft 3 editor? Make our own characters? Spells? Game mechanics?

What model import formats do you allow?

Larian_Swen12 karma

Right now it's story, scripting, art, levels - You can't change spells yet, but if the editor is popular, we'll expose that too. Mechanics can be modified to a certain extent.

baedert11 karma

On a scale of 1 to 10, how similar is Divinity: Original Sin to Divine Divinity? I enjoyed that game so much back in the day and although Divinity II was also great(despite some technical difficulties I guess), I love that D:OS is isometric again.

Larian_Swen10 karma

Tough question - in some ways a 9(world size), in others a 0 (e.g. combat)

Einherjar10110 karma

From what i've seen so far you haven't shown much about character customization, but I have heard that it is in the game. So can you talk a bit about what different customizations their are and how far we can take the look of the characters?

ie: Face, physique, armour and so on...

Larian_Swen8 karma

Visuals, gender, icon, personality, voice, start skills, start stats

jyng898 karma

Since the Personality traits and talents tier has been achieved, will they apply to henchmen recruited as well? (i.e. relationship between henchmen & the player(s)) If so, how far will this relationship extend? (i.e. will it be a purely monetary one? Meaning if you don't treat you henchmen well, it'll cost you more to hire? Or will it possibly extend further such that it affects interactions with the henchmen too?)

Larian_Swen5 karma

Yes. Regarding the relations, that will only develop if we make the companions goal. Big update on that tomorrow

MaximBardin8 karma

Some of your past Divinity games weren't received as well as the first Divinity game, why do you think that is? what have you learned from it and will apply in this Divinity game?

Larian_Swen14 karma

Without any exception, all games were compromised due to lack of time/budget because we spent too much time iterating. That was because we never took the iteration into our schedule, simply because nobody in his sane mind would allow us to fool around for several months, seemingly doing nothing but throwing away everything we did before. But it's how we get an intuitive feel for the game we're making, and once we have that, we can do miracles. All games were forced releases, and in all cases releasing early was the wrong decision. Waiting until it's done is the only way you can get a good game. And if you have a good game, then the players will follow, though there are still people that dispute that.

racul7 karma

Will people react when you kill their animals in the game? (IMO if you get caught running around killing chickens and sheep you should suffer the same consequences as for stealing.)

Larian_Swen6 karma

They should and they will

Elfwyn7 karma

  • To what extend will we be able to influence the Henchman at the "Create a Henchman" Tier at $250? Escpecially taking into account the $800K stretch goal where Henchmen will become Companions and get quests and more personality.
  • Will those Henchmen be available for all players or only unlocked for our private copy of the game?

Larian_Swen4 karma

You'll still have henchmen in the game, in addition to companions. You can have them go to the shelter plane and they'll wait for you there, so you can take advantage of their specific builds. The companions will be integrated in the storyline.

Garod7 karma

Hi Sven, David & Jan Wanted to ask about the Weresheep t-shirt. Will you be making these available to the digital tier holders in the KS as well? Or only via the Larian website later on?

Larian_Swen5 karma

YEs, remind us please, should've been done already. We forgot :)

grumbot4 karma

I would like to add to this question: Are you guys considering making female versions available of the T-shirts?

Larian_Swen4 karma

I guess we should - I'll make an inquiry

Einherjar1017 karma

Is the update song, or at least the tune of the song in the game?

Larian_Swen5 karma

Not yet :)

Larian_Swen5 karma

But I wake up with that song in my head, so it might be, somewhere...

Junotekh7 karma

Will there be any difficulty settings? If so please tell about the difference in difficulty. (just a damage increase or more difficult to intimidate etc.)

norbyte4 karma

Larian_Swen7 karma

There's a lot of talk about the iron man mode in the office. I don't know yet how it's going to be, but it'll be in. Regarding what's going to be impacted by it - we still need to decide that.

twinchenzo6 karma

Hey Swen, David, Jan! I'd like to seize this opportunity to ask you about one of the features that is obvious for the real word, but commonly left out in fantasy worlds. This feature is monetary system. How can you describe it in OS? As far as I remember from DD it was a simple monometal monetary system with heave reliance on barter during trade. But who issues the coins? Is there a standart currency for the whole land, or different gold coins for every, say, city or race? This kind of thoughts may unveil some hidden potential for minor story events like forgery and stuff.

And will you be considering now to add at least a name for the Rivellon currency instead of simply calling it gold pieces?

Sorry, mates, I am an economist by trade, that kind of stuff always interests me.

P.S. Baaah!

Larian_Swen7 karma

I clearly need to talk to my economist friend to answer this -Right now inflation is determined by what people think of you. Probably, that's not the right approach :)

rudyards6 karma

What is the hardest part of Game Design?

Larian_Swen7 karma

Explaining to people that you need to try stuff out in order to know what your next step is going to be. It's still an iterative process but everybody expects you can do it all in your head.

dwelfusius9 karma

like troubleshooting in tech support?

Larian_Swen7 karma

Yes, very much so. :)

Onarm5 karma

Hey Larian, just an idea for you.

Over the next few updates, make sure to emphasize that Paypal will remain open after the Kickstarter. As is, you are going to be getting a ton of people from these Youtube/Reddit things, and many will go, look, and see that it ends in 2-3 days. Lot's of people have paychecks coming up, but can't give specifically right now, so making sure to let people know that they CAN come back in a week to donate would likely help out a bit,

Also focus on mentioning that you'll be leaving it open for the people waiting after the Torment KS. Lots of people dug deep for that and are still recovering. Giving them a bit more time means they may be more able to help with D:OS.

Larian_Swen7 karma

Thank you for reminding us. It was already mentioned a few times so we're aware of it and we'll make sure there's a big link on the main page after the campaign.

ks_trit5 karma

The digital pledge tiers on your Kickstarter only go to to $200... Any chance of a $500 one? (I'd certainly take it!)

Larian_Swen4 karma

That's a good point. We had a big tier meeting, but somehow nobody thought of that, even if iti was mentioned already. If we find the time to go over them again, we'll certainly do it. Thx!

ovidian5 karma

Are you going to have Bioware-style relationships in the game (especially if the "more detailed companions" stretch goal is reached)? Not something I have strong opinions about either way, just curious!

KeinZantezuken4 karma

No, there won't be such kind of romance as far I know (at this moment). More precisely - there won't be sexual relationships definitely.

Larian_Swen5 karma

We'll do a more detailed update on this tomorrow, explaining how our affinity/affection system works.

karang925 karma

Really looking forward to the new game, already backed you on kickstarter! MASSIVE fan of divine divinity, didn't really get into divinity II. I've read before that you guys preferred the 'divinity 1' style of games to divinity II so I'm glad you're coming back to it.

  • what's the feature that will be most recognisable to fans of Divine Divinity?

  • will Mardaneus make an appearance? Mardaneus vs Zandalor wizard duel?

  • why couldn't I put a barrell inside a wooden chest in Divine Divinity without crashing the game?

  • what's your favourite feature from any of your old games?

  • Will you guys maintain the same sense of humour you had in the old games? That was by far the most refreshing thing about them imo.

  • how big will the game world be?

Thanks a lot guys, love what you're doing. Can't wait to play!

KeinZantezuken4 karma

I can answer few:

  1. The Pyramids I believe and ability to manipulate things(as in feature)

  2. -- see Swen'ts reply 1 below

  3. I think it was fixed with a patch.

  4. --see Swen'ts reply 2 below

  5. Already can be seen in Dragon Commander dialogues so I believe DOS is not an exception :3

  6. As from Kickstarter: "think of main area from DD but 4x larger"

Larian_Swen3 karma

  1. No
  2. That exploration is rewarded (in most cases)

iamleyeti5 karma

Hi from France! I'm a writer myself and I've a couple of questions : 1) How important do you think writing is for Divinity? 2) How do you manage writing in your productions (it comes really early, it comes very late)?

And a last one, are you hiring? :D

Larian_Swen8 karma

1) Very 2) With too many iterations ;) We change our minds a lot, and sometimes it's not always for a good reason. 3) Yes, we actually are. [email protected]

venett5 karma

Hi, thanks for great games :)

  1. Does the game and its editor can display 2-bytes Asian language properly? I'm a South Korean gamer. It's a pity when I have a good game editor but can't make a thing in my own language with it.

  2. With editor, can I make a game that all game interactions are tied into personality stats or traits? Like the virtues of Ultima IV, or more than that.

  3. Does the game support in-game text or voice chat for communication between players?

  4. I heard you are aiming for e-Sports with Dragon Commander. And you guys may (must?) know Korean gamers are good at competitive gaming. Do you have a plan to publish DC in Korea?

Larian_Swen4 karma

  1. We support Unicode, but a Korean version is not in the pipeline yet
  2. Yes, I hope somebody makes an Ultima
  3. Yes
  4. We're actually working on it, but I don't have more news than that yet

TheDark124 karma

Is coop limited to two players or are there plans for four or more?

Garod2 karma

Larian already said in a previous interview that the game actually supports up to 6 players. Only for this campaign this is set to 2 players for story reasons. Any mod you make can support up to 6 players if you so chose.

Larian_Swen4 karma

It's also like that because we want to do the cooperative dialogs, which I think is really cool thing, properly. The coop was introduced for the most likely case, two friends or a couple playing together. If you watch the videos we did, you'll notice that that's a lot of fun.

pusheax884 karma

Swen, you said that Original Sin is the best RPG you created. What do you mean exactly? Why is it better than Divine Divinity? How your design evolved since then?

Larian_Swen8 karma

It's the one I think I'll play even after it's finished - I haven't done that with any of my games because there was always I wasn't happy with.

StromIV4 karma

Will Larian foresee other fan events in the future for peeps that can't come to fanday?

Larian_Swen6 karma

We didn't make any plans yet, but I think we might. There's been a lot of response, more than I'd have imagined tbh. We'll make sure it's going to be a cool day!

Dear_Potato4 karma

Hello! I would want to know if in development, Larian in general, and Original Sin in particular, gives importance to writing -what I mean is if there are more instances in which writing influences gameplay than the opposite.

Larian_Swen8 karma

Gameplay always wins

Drakxx4 karma

Even if the $1M goal isn't reached on your KS drive, is there any chance you'll still include the needed programming in the engine for the weather, lunar, etc. stuff; so that player-made content can make use of it?

Also, any plans for another Dragon Knight game? Really loved it.

Larian_Swen7 karma

You actually have all the mechanics in there already (it rains, you can modify the lighting etc...), our goal is more about scripting it (which is a lot of work if you want to do it proper).

I can guarantee you that the Dragon Knight will be back. As a matter of fact, ther's one in Dragon Commander, but I guess that's not what you meant ;)

PruneyToes3 karma

Would you consider doing a "Let's Play" video (or live stream?) of Divine Divinity? I'd love to hear your commentary about the game and what went into the design process.

Larian_Swen6 karma

If ever I find the time, I would. But it's a long game. I actually wanted to do this for the Anthology, but it really would've been a lot of work. Who knows, when I retire perhaps ;)

Iskhiaro3 karma

I think your game seems fascinating. It's sad that it probably won't make the top stretch goal, which sounds great, but I really hope it makes the $800k one. How much money did you actually expect to make from this kickstarter before you started, and how much do you expect it to make now?

Larian_Swen2 karma

We still have hope ;) I bet on 800 at the start of the campaign, and hope for 1M, but I was already happy when we had 400.

Masaken3 karma

666k so what's the hint? :D

Larian_Swen4 karma

Thomas that this time it should be the Kickstarter 666. Who can still follow Thomas' reasoning? ;)

gruia2 karma

Having played Divinity 2 and putting a great emphasis on writing, I ask you - how would you rate the writing and plot of DOS vs D2 (expansion as well) on par , better

second question, comes from a gamer that hasn't replayed any title (besides Of Orcs and Men) for 7 years now - how do you rate the replayability of your project, and where does it stand on your priority list?

Thats all for now, thank you, love you, i got ur back ;)

Larian_Swen3 karma

Re: the writing - still a lot to be done, but if it's to the standards of Dragon Commander, very high :) Re: replayability - much higher than our other games. I've been replaying the same area over and over over the last couple of weeks to pitch the game, and I never got bored. On top of that, I usually had a different experience. That's pretty cool Re: the plot - Div2 suffered from many cuts and that showed in the plot which in the end was a lot of things stitched together. We'll try not to make the same mistake again.

Larian_Swen2 karma

Errr... I'm pretty sure I wrote a long reply to your question, but it doesn't show. If it doesn't in a couple of mins I'll be back ;)

onyhow2 karma

Thanks you for holding AMA!

1) Will there be another developer's room like in original DD? I really love that

2) Is there any ending that might result in DD, BD, or D2DKS unable to happen? As in it goes off the rails so hard?

Larian_Swen2 karma

1) Tha'ts confidential information ;)

2) No, that's the one thing in the main story you can't change. It's linked to future events.

StromIV2 karma

  1. From StromIV - If a backer already gets the beta access with their tier, can they pledge an additional $30 to get alpha access as well (since the Alpha Access Add-on at $50 comes with the $20 Beta Access as well)?

  2. From Stefan Leonhardt - can different people work on their computer with the editor on the same module and somehow combine what they have made? So one makes a town and one a desert - can you somehow import one file into the other?

  3. From Malfeas - Any choices regarding faces, hair styles, skin color? Body types? Can I make a big, strong but kinda fat guy? Will you completely get rid of the skimpy armor, or will it stay in the game and simply add a slew of realistic ones, in addition?

  4. From Malfeas - Is it possible for two people to work on a module at the same time? What about when one person works on an area to the north and another on the south, can they combine their work into one module?

  5. Tim Dohnt - Original Sin is coming to Mac (perhaps a bit later than the Windows version), will this be a native version, or will you use porting tools?

Larian_Swen2 karma

  1. Beta is included in Alpha. Didn't we update that ?
  2. Yes, we do it all the time at larian, but it does require a source control system and the problem is that we're currently integrated with Perforce, which is a commercial system. If the editor is popular, I guess we'll have to move it to an open source system.
  3. Body types are limited, the rest you can change. The skimpy armor you refer to actually is from a specific tribe so it'll stay, but there's all kinds of armor.
  4. Answered already
  5. We're working on making it a native version. Should we fail miserably, we'll probably use porting tools but we'll try to avoid that. We had some bad experiences with Wine in the past (i.e. Apple kicking us off the store)

StromIV2 karma

I was talking more about those that get beta access in their tier. Can they add $30 for alpha access to get that since they already get beta access?

Larian_Swen2 karma

I'm stupid. Now I understand. Yes. We need to update that on the page.

Larian_Swen2 karma

We will - and to say I got this question already so many times, only now do I understand :) Thank you StromIV!

HumunculiTzu2 karma

Hey Sven, David and Jan. I was wondering how open the game will be on the PC when it comes to mods, plugins and add-ons. Will it have a Steam workshop for people to make and upload mods to or will the game more closed?

Larian_Swen2 karma

You can indeed share via Steam Workshop or by just copying files in a folder actually.

ticlimax2 karma

Will we get some kind of backstory for our characters (for example, born in aleroth, son of a merchant)?

Larian_Swen2 karma

That's not in, unfortunately. I'd very much have liked to do that, but it'll be for another time.

OpenTheGates2 karma

Hi! If I pledge enough money on your kickstarter to have a signed poster, how will the poster looks like? Will it be the picture of the two heroes or another one? Good luck with your kickstarter, I'm looking forward to dragon commander too! ;)

Larian_Swen2 karma

We'll in any case have the two heroes one as an option, but chances are very high there'll be another one - you'll be asked via Kickstarter's survey thing. Thx for the support!

dfinsrud2 karma

Hello! 1) If I create a coop game, can my friend custom the character he is going to play with me, or do I have to setup both characters from my end before he joins my game?

2) When I create a game play, will everyone playing D:OS be able to join my game by searching a list or do I have to invite them myself? and will there be a password protection or some sort if everyone playing D:OS can access each others game play via a online list?

Thanks from norway, looking forward until game release and I hope you get as many donations on KS/Paypal as possibly to add more content etc.. to D:OS.

Larian_Swen2 karma

1) We'll allow a reset of the character if somebody joins, if the host agrees. However, what can't change are the choices made if you join later. 2. Right now, you invite. This is a game to play as a party of people you know

Thx for the support!

deamento2 karma

hello guys!

i was wondering, can you make choices during the game that could affect the main story in a major way (like an important character dying)?

thanks :)

Larian_Swen3 karma

Yes. A few things will always happen because it's set in the Divinity timeline, but other than that, it's a very free world. When we say - you can kill everybody and still finish the game, we're not kidding ;)