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Why was BG1 RTWP?


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For every new RPG there is a discussion if it should be turn based or RTWP.

BG1 invented the rtwp RPG and because of its success many other games used it later.

BG1 was based on DnD, which is turn based (like any other PnP system I know, because it is hard to do real time combat with dice). Many other computer RPG are also based on PnP games or they were inspired by them. If computer RPGs are based on PnP RPGs and those are turn based, why did they make computer RPGs with RTWP?

At the time of BG1 the following game types existed (as far as I remember, its been a long time, only the types I consider relevant for BG1)

- turn based RPG based on PnP rules (e.g. Reals of Arcadia trilogy, They used exactly the PnP rules so over 80% of spells and skills were useless because it could not be implemented in a computer game at that time)

- strategy games (e.g. command and conquer, but they are not RPG with no character developement and no complex rule set)

- action RPG (e.g. Diablo, not based on PnP)

- JRPG ( FF7 was very successful, maybe it was an influence and ATB was considered a mix of real time and turn based???)

 

Did the devs ever say why they did it the way they did, especially regarding the combat style?

 

PS: With the new forum look, can you start a new line without having a big space between the last line and the new one?

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I think it was because of success of Diablo (which ironically was supposed to be turn based originally)

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IIRC, Bioware had built a tech demo for what was to be an online-driven product ("Battleground Infinity").  Interplay had, separately, just gotten the license to make D&D games.  When Interplay folks (read:  Feargus) saw Bioware's demo, they suggested using it as the basis for a D&D title.

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It would be interesting to hear original creators intent.

The most common explanation I heard was that Real-time games were a thing back then. Whenever there is any merit in it, I cannot say. It’s a bit before my time. 

People lobby for RPGs being turn-based, because Firaxis’ XCOM made turn based cool again. Public doesn’t dismiss Turn based games anymore. And considering RPG tabletop origins, and that stat/roll based games benefit from deliberate pace of Turn-Based question if RPGs should stick to RTwP is a valid one.

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1 hour ago, Wormerine said:

It would be interesting to hear original creators intent.

The most common explanation I heard was that Real-time games were a thing back then. Whenever there is any merit in it, I cannot say. It’s a bit before my time. 

People lobby for RPGs being turn-based, because Firaxis’ XCOM made turn based cool again. Public doesn’t dismiss Turn based games anymore. And considering RPG tabletop origins, and that stat/roll based games benefit from deliberate pace of Turn-Based question if RPGs should stick to RTwP is a valid one.

See this recent article where Cameron Tofer, one of the core creators of BG, directly addresses it:

https://www.denofgeek.com/us/games/pc-gaming/282565/baldurs-gate-legacy

The tabletop origins of RPGs does not justify sticking with TB for video games, because by that logic we should also stick with tabletop itself and not have progressed to computers. Coming up with new ideas and new ways of doing things is a must for anything to survive into the future.

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Shamelessly copying the Bioware wikipedia page (middle paragraph bold faced by me):

---

Their first game, Shattered Steel, began its life as a proof-of-concept demo, similar to the MechWarrior games. This demo was submitted to ten publishers, seven of whom returned to the company with an offer. A publishing deal for Shattered Steel was eventually signed with Interplay Entertainment. Brent Oster and Trent Oster left BioWare at that time to form Pyrotek Studios, which continued developing Shattered Steel but broke up a year later, with Trent returning to BioWare to finish the game.[5] BioWare's first game was released the following year. Shattered Steel's release was described by IGN as a "modest success" with "decent sales". Two noteworthy points were the deformable terrain (player weapon damage caused craters in the environment) and zone damage (well-placed gunfire could shoot mounted weapons off enemies). A sequel to Shattered Steel was planned for 1998 but never realized.[4]

BioWare's founders and staff were keenly interested in both computerized and pen-and-paper variants of role-playing games. Their next development project, therefore, was determined to be a role-playing game. When Interplay financed "exploratory development", BioWare presented the publishers with a demo called Battleground: Infinity. Interplay suggested that the demonstrated gameplay engine would be well-suited to the Dungeons & Dragons licence which it had acquired from Strategic Simulations. Accordingly, Infinity was reworked in line with the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset.[4]

This resulted in Baldur's Gate, which witnessed a development cycle of three years. During this time, the three doctors continued to practice medicine. However, in the final years of the project, the demands of development prompted Muzyka and Zeschuck to leave medicine and move into full-time development. Augustine Yip decided to continue with his medical practice. Baldur's Gate sold more than two million copies after its release, nearly matching the sales of Diablo. Following the success of Baldur's Gate, the Infinity Engine was used for the games Planescape: Torment and the Icewind Dale series. The success of Baldur's Gate was followed by an expansion pack for the game: Tales of the Sword Coast.[6]

 

Edit: tl;dr; what was pitched as a typical (for the time) rts game got reworked into Baldurs Gate instead. Based on memory, may be wrong, but the thinking behind it being that the rts market was already very competitive at the time.

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