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Fifth Anniversary Of Baldur's Gate 2

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:27 AM

In celebration of the five year anniversary of Bioware's award winning Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, Gamebanshee has posted an interview with two of the game's designers. Also available are updates to walkthroughs of BG 2 and it's expansion Throne of Bhaal along with a column discussing the game's success. In the interview James Ohlen and Kevin Martens, Co Lead Designers on BG 2, examine what influenced the game, how its success has impacted Bioware's future products, and why BG 2 itself was so popular.

GB: What specific aspects of Baldur's Gate II do you feel attributed to the game's major success?

Kevin: Well first off, it was enormous. We could guarantee that we had something for everyone simply by the amount of content, which also contributed to the replay value. I started at BioWare only a few months before Baldur’s Gate hit shelves, so I wasn’t involved with the core design of the series or the engine. I would like to take this opportunity to toot BioWare’s horn without tooting my own. The real-time pause combat system on top of the deep roleplaying game is one of the best things that has ever happened to the RPG genre. That extra element of tactics from the realm of games like Warcraft II or Starcraft really opened up the combat experience of the game, and I think it also drew some of the really cool elements out of the AD&D system while keeping combat fierce and action-packed. Any success I’ve had with the engine since then I owe to the core concept pioneered by the Baldur’s Gate team.

It wasn’t just clever innovation and size that made the game a success. At the end of the day, Baldur’s Gate II did well because people worked so hard, for so long, with so much passion, and refused to let the game out the door without those extra little pieces that make the experience so memorable. I am forever indebted to the Baldur’s Gate series teams for making my career and allowing me to live a dream.
For the entire interview and other BG 2 content follow the links below.
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