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Published on August 18th, 2020 | by gareth

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Baldur’s Gate 3 Panel From Hell Reveals New Screenshots

Using a mix of performance capture and bespoke adaptive cameras, the game is able to react to whoever you are and whatever you do, both in multiplayer and single-player. With the addition of streaming integration, even viewers who may not own the game now have a say in the player’s journey.

Larian’s Cinematic Director, Jason Latino, explains, “You’re telling your story, and we’re shooting it for you. We’re taking that camera down from being above the players and down into the drama, right into the action.

“I can’t think of another early access game that’s done cinematics on this level,” he added. “There’s a lot of games where the moment you add cinematics, they have to get smaller. We didn’t want to do that.”

Community Update #6 – Multiplayer & Cinematics goes into detail about how Larian is combining a cinematic, player-driven narrative through early access, with multiplayer interactions both within and outside of the game session. It shows how far the team has come since Divinity: Original Sin, back in 2014.

When enabled by a streamer, Crowd Choice brings the journey to YouTube viewers, where Stadia viewers can vote. The streamer is seamlessly presented with the results in percentages, and can then choose to follow the players, or go their own way.

Twitch integration works by numbering each dialogue option, which corresponds to viewer choices. This feedback is seamlessly integrated into the game, where both streamer and viewer will see each percentage vote next to each dialogue option. What’s more, players will be able to interact with the Twitch overlay to access the player’s inventory, character sheet, skills, and spells.

Both of these features are launching day one of early access, respectively, on PC and Stadia. This not only brings the community closer to the player, but also, due to the amount of permutations in dialogues, enables streamers to “DM” their own adventure for viewers, letting viewers partake in the story regardless of whether they own the game. Players will be able to become a part of their favorite streamer’s own private canon. Or, as a streamer or viewer, hide the feature entirely. It’s up to them. As always, the game reacts appropriately.

Early access is rapidly approaching, and Larian is happy to launch with nearly everything needed to give players a sense of the ambition behind Baldur’s Gate 3. Dialogues have more permutations than ever before, and so too does the game. Not only does the game retain the narration previous Larian titles are so well known for, you’ll often see that action on screen — whether it’s a vampiric bite in the night, or a slip of the tongue on a goblin’s foot. Of course, there are many more for players to discover on their own.

Whether in solo, with friends — or streaming with an audience — no matter how you choose to experience Baldur’s Gate 3, the tools and systems that allow the game to adapt to the story forged by players are ready for early access on September 30.

For more information, turn to Community Update #6 – Multiplayer & Cinematics, which also features a lengthy community Q&A.

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Here is a look at some new screens from Baldur’s Gate 3.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Panel From Hell: New Gameplay Details & Intro Cinematic,
Early Access Coming Sept. 30, 2020

DUBLIN Aug. 18, 2020 — Today Larian Studios revealed the eagerly awaited early access release date for the upcoming RPG Baldur’s Gate 3. During the “Panel From Hell” livestream, the studio announced they’re aiming for Sept. 30, 2020, as the date Steam PC and Stadia players will be able to jump into the first act of the game’s early access content. The panel also went in-depth about Baldur’s Gate 3’s early access content, as well as the journey Larian is soon embarking on with players.

The final part of the game’s now roughly six-minute CGI introduction revealed that players begin their journey in Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells. Avernus featured heavily in the recently released D&D adventure module Descent Into Avernus, which saw the entire city of Elturel dragged into hell. The city was saved, but the aftermath of that cataclysmic event casts a shadow over the events of Baldur’s Gate 3. Players won’t just see the aftermath, however; captive aboard a nautiloid, they’ll take part in a daring escape as the ship jumps between planes of existence and is caught in the fury of the eternal, apocalyptic Blood War that rages across the hellscape. Avernus will be featured throughout the game, alongside many other locations to be announced later.

Panel_From_Hell_IntellectDevourer_3Panel_From_Hell_IntellectDevourer_2Panel_From_Hell_IntellectDevourer_1

A highlight of the Panel From Hell was the “lobotomy scene,” a new gameplay snippet shown during the stream. As players attempt to seize control of the nautiloid, they find a corpse with its brain exposed. The brain itself seems to address the player, asking them to free it. At this point, players can decide to get their hands dirty, extracting the brain from the skull, which leads to the discovery that it’s not a brain at all, but rather a trapped Intellect Devourer. These creatures feed on the intelligence of sentient beings, taking over their victims’ bodies on behalf of their Mind Flayer masters.

Swen Vincke, Creative Director of Larian Studios, also showcased the scope of early access, giving details on how the size of Baldur’s Gate 3’s first act compares to Larian’s previous release, Divinity: Original Sin 2, when it launched in early access. Here are a few numbers that will emphasize the depth of Baldur’s Gate 3 in comparison to Divinity: Original Sin 2:

●             Number of combat encounters: 22 in DOS2 EA vs. 80 in BG3 EA
●             Number of English dialogue lines: 17,600 in DOS2 EA vs. 45,980 in BG3 EA
●             Number of characters: 142 in DOS2 EA vs. 596 in BG3 EA
●             Number of spells/actions: 69 in DOS2 EA vs. 146 in BG3 EA

Classes and races will be announced closer to September 30, but Larian today confirmed that Baldur’s Gate 3’s early access will include five Origin characters (as well as player-customized characters), with more to be announced throughout early access. The five launch characters are: Astarion (Elf/Vampire Rogue), Gale (Human Wizard), Lae’zel (Githyanki Warrior), Shadowheart (Half-Elf Cleric), Wyll (Human Warlock).

Through gameplay footage, and audience interaction, Vincke demonstrated how the game allows players to discover different permutations in encounters and dialogue depending on the characters they play and the choices they make. This depth of reactivity means that even in early access, multiple playthroughs will lead to different outcomes and developments not only for players and their companions, but for the many NPCs they meet and the world around them, too. In simple terms, playing “good” and “evil” will offer wholly different experiences with many twists and turns (all performance-captured) that other players may never see, depending on their choices.

Panel from Hell_Avernus_CGI_1Avernus concept

While the studio is working towards the September 30 release date, there is still plenty that needs doing before players can dive into the world of Baldur’s Gate 3 early access on PC via Steam and Google’s Stadia. For more information about the early access philosophy covered today in Larian’s stream, we recommend keeping up to date with the community updates. Today’s will cover heat maps and the topic of how player input is parsed into functional data to improve the game. Heavy stuff!





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About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.



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