Audience Interaction Pushed To New Heights in Baldur’s Gate 3
Audience interaction is a major part of the Twitch experience, and though that’s usually limited to interacting with the streamer Larian Studios is looking to augment that in a major way with Baldur’s Gate 3.
The game, which is slated to hit early access on September 30th, will allow streamers to give the audience the ability to decide what should happen next during conversations. The streamer, if they enable the option for audience interaction, will be presented with chat’s voting results in real-time and can then choose to heed their wishes – or not, if you want to risk the audience’s wrath…
Audience interaction isn’t only limited to the chat, however, as viewers will also be able to see the player’s inventory, skills, and spells – allowing them to see how you’ve built your characters and offer constructive criticism in the chat.
I’m really excited to see Baldur’s Gate 3 hit early access, both as a fan of the classic Baldur’s Gate games and of Larian’s Divinity series. Expect to hear more when it hits launch!
Here’s the press release:
Baldur’s Gate 3 Introduces Crowd Choice on Stadia & Twitch Integration on PC
Larian Studios reveals Baldur’s Gate 3’s launch key art & new video on multiplayer cinematics
DUBLIN — Sept. 10, 2020 — Larian Studio’s newest Baldur’s Gate 3 Community Update video, released today, breaks down the game’s cinematic ambitions for early access, which begins on September 30. It also introduces more interactivity through Stadia Crowd Choice and Twitch integration. A huge leap from Divinity: Original Sin’s rock-paper-scissors multiplayer interactions, Baldur’s Gate 3 features 1.5 million words, with fully cinematic dialogues.
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.