The release of Baldur’s Gate 3 has sparked discussions among veteran RPG developers on how it has influenced their approach to game development. According to senior developers within the industry, the game has set a new standard for the genre. Swen Vincke, the creative director of Larian Studios which developed Baldur’s Gate 3, remained neutral in his response, but other panel members expressed differing opinions.

Carrie Patel, the game director for Avowed and a senior narrative designer at Obsidian Entertainment, shared that the game reinforced their philosophy of creating a collaborative relationship with players. This involves providing players with meaningful choices that pay off and trusting in their creativity to engage with the game. By rewarding players for their exploration and curiosity, developers can enhance the gaming experience and encourage player immersion.

Breaking Away from Moral Binary Choices

Adrienne Bazir, the solo developer behind In Stars and Time, echoed similar sentiments about moving beyond traditional moral binary choices in games. She referenced Disco Elysium as another title that embraces unconventional decision-making, allowing players to explore bizarre and unexpected options. By presenting players with choices that defy typical hero versus villain scenarios, games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Disco Elysium encourage players to think outside the box and experiment with unique gameplay experiences.

Bazir highlighted the importance of pushing boundaries and encouraging players to “play with the medium” by introducing unconventional choices, such as transforming into a bear. This approach not only adds depth to the narrative but also challenges players to think creatively and engage with the game in unexpected ways. By fostering a spirit of experimentation and innovation, developers can create more dynamic and memorable gaming experiences that resonate with players.

Adopting a New Perspective

Sarah Gruemmer, the acting lead quest designer for Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, offered a more reserved response to Baldur’s Gate 3. She noted the game’s roots in Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and acknowledged its influence on the RPG genre. While Gruemmer did not provide as detailed a response as other panel members, her acknowledgment of Baldur’s Gate 3’s impact on the industry underscores the game’s significance in shaping future RPG development.

The release of Baldur’s Gate 3 has sparked conversations among RPG developers about the importance of player creativity, unconventional choices, and collaborative storytelling. By embracing these principles and pushing the boundaries of traditional gameplay mechanics, developers can create immersive and innovative gaming experiences that resonate with players and shape the future of the RPG genre.

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