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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Postmortem Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Gamasutra has posted a new postmortem article by Trent Oster examining the development of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition from Overhaul Games and Beamdog. An updated version of Bioware's fantasy role playing game set in the Forgotten Realms, the game features an enhanced version of the Infinity Engine, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack, new adventures, new party members, and new character kits.

We had drafted the original deal in the context of a Baldur's Gate: HD. Our plan was simple: grab the original artwork, clean it up, re-render it at higher resolutions and with better materials, thus creating stunning versions of the areas everyone remembers. We planned to take the character models and re-render them with many more frames of animation and add new orientations to the movement to make the game smoother. We nailed down the core terms, got everyone on the same page and we got our first drop of the assets from BioWare.

A few days later we noticed a large hole where the source art should be -- stuff like 3DS Max files and texture images. "No problem," I said; I contacted Derek French over at BioWare and he dug further and sent us more data. We again dug through and failed to find the source art. I made arrangements to visit BioWare with a removable drive and work with Derek and the IS department to find the assets.

After two days of searching we came to the horrible realization that the source artwork was stored on a departmental drive and not a project drive, and as such was not frequently backed up. We dug through tape backups to no avail. The source art was lost.

At this point we brought the information back to Atari and the deal was dead in the water. Cameron and I spent a few weeks re-thinking the concept and we re-pitched Atari with an "Enhanced Edition" as opposed to an "HD" version. We discussed the implications of a non-HD version and we had to renegotiate royalty terms to get the deal back on track. We basically had to completely discard our plans and start anew after almost a year of negotiation.

Head over to the page below to read more.

Gamasutra: BGEE Postmortem
Overhaul Games
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition

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Archives  News  Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Postmortem Available