Over the past week, dataminers have been digging through Baldur’s Gate 3 code and uncovering a treasure trove of alleged “cut content”. It’s hard to pinpoint what they’ve uncovered without accidentally sounding the Major Spoilers trumpet and triggering Armageddon, but the supposedly buried offerings include additional areas, chunks of dialogue, storylines, cutscenes, characters, romance and even deities. Given how much Larian’s gargantuan RPG lets you play through, I’m kind of grateful that a generous amount of stuff is “left out” – certainly, I don’t need more romantic NPCs, I do. already pushes back with a broomstick. But the news did not go down well with a few players, especially those who feel that the overall quality of the game dips in Acts 2 and 3.
Developers have come to the defense of Larian, including David Gaider, former screenwriter of Baldur’s Gate 2 and Dragon Age, now creative director of Summerfall Games, creator of the very vermifuge STRAY GODs: The Roleplaying Musical. “I’m not surprised to hear about the amount of stuff apparently removed from BG3”, Gaider wrote on Twix. “BG2 had a mountain of stuff removed during its development, some early on and some even after a lot of work went into it…almost every game does it. Every DA game has done it. Hell, even Stray Gods got massive discounts.”
Gaider has some great tips for discussing game cuts.” 1. If it was removed late, it probably didn’t work – technically or conceptually, or both. 2. Many cuts were made early enough to that they were never “real” to begin with. 3. Most cuts can’t be resurrected. . It would be easier to start over, truth be told.”
But what if the game material in question still exists in the game files, another Twitter user argued. “Just because there are residuals in the files doesn’t mean they were close to a readable state,” said Gaider. “Some might be and it’s just a bug, though…but it’s different from a cut, I would say.”
Gaider thought elsewhere that players “often form this mental image as if it were some perfect, working thing that the devs removed for arbitrary reasons, when in truth a lot of things would still be cut even if those devs had like magically more time to work on the game”.
Matthew Medina, Arenanet’s head of narrative design, offered his own list of possible reasons for downscaling games, including features completed too late to undergo proper testing, project scope “ballooning” to the point. that it is no longer economical to continue development and content being tonal. out of sync with other game elements.
“I could make half a dozen games from the amount of content I’ve removed over my career,” Medina says. observed. “Cut content is usually removed for very legitimate reasons. Players may think it’s wasteful and sometimes it may be, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it may be necessary.”
Larian has now joined the conversation, with CEO Sven Vincke telling IGN that the alleged cuts were “editorial decisions” aimed at avoiding burnout for players and preventing certain areas from becoming “boring”. Vincke also denied a rumor that the excisions were made to ensure Baldur’s Gate 3 would be released on August 3, 2023 – it was originally scheduled to launch today, August 31, which could have ended badly for everyone. world.
“We were actually stuck on what the game was going to contain for a while because these games are too important to make big decisions like that and cut things two weeks before release,” Vincke explained to Kat Bailey from the site. “So you wouldn’t do that. But I mean, it’s normal. And I guess that’s also kind of a compliment, people want more content.”
“So when it comes to the city [of Baldur’s Gate]…we actually created a big city. When you reach this goal, you will see that there is really a lot to do. But we noticed, and it’s something that surprised us, that there are people exploring the whole city, which is what we had expected. That’s a lot of content. So we didn’t want to repeat this to the point of nausea, to the point that it becomes too heavy, because by then you had already played for over a hundred hours.
It’s “not true that we cut large portions of it,” Vincke continued. “That’s been our intention from the start. We’ve removed some small things, but it’s just part of redefining the scope at the end of a match.”
This all echoes an official Larian update from earlier this week, in which Larian confessed to cutting back on the game’s epilogues out of concern that players would lose momentum. The developers have conceded to the fan base on this front and plan to re-expand these epilogues in upcoming Baldur’s Gate 3 patches, starting with a new optional finale for Karlach, the much-loved acute heartburn sufferer.
Watch on YouTube
With the exception of cases where a publisher openly sets aside material for DLC that truly feels like it belongs in the game, I myself am rarely outraged by “cut content.” Game development is unpredictable and uneven, and from a writer’s perspective, being selective is only part of the composition process. I’m still digging towards the endgame of Baldur’s Gate 3, mind you, so I can’t really speak to the claim about the difference in substance between Act 1 and Act 2-3.
While I can understand why developers are afraid to broach the subject, I’m generally fascinated to hear about what’s left in the cut room, and like to search game worlds for ‘residue’, like said Gaider. For example: there is an entire, populated citadel in The Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver that was supposed to play a larger role in the story, but only exists as an optional secondary area. It’s a joy to explore, partly because of that unfinished atmosphere, and while I’m hungry for a Soul Reaver remake, I’m afraid to think it’s “rehabilitated” in the rest. I also enjoy games that simulate hashed material and write stories about it, like Anodyne 2 from Analgesic. Have you yourself come across any noticeable and memorable gaps or scar tissue in a game’s fabric?
Disclosure: Adam Smith, former associate editor of RPS (RPS in Peace), now works at Larian and is the lead writer for Baldur’s Gate 3. Former contributor Emily Gera also works there.
#Developers #Step #Defend #Larian #Baldurs #Gate #Cut #Content #Fallout