Baldur’s Gate III‘s Early Access date — Sept. 30 — is quickly approaching, much to the excitement of new and old fans of the beloved RPG series. In anticipation, Larian Studios has released a sixth developer update that focuses on multiplayer and cinematics. One of the new pieces of information is that the game will let you make and suggest dialogue choices for Twitch streamers.
The voting system allows single-player Twitch streamers to ask an audience what they would do in your role. In Baldur’s Gate III, dialogue options will have a number assigned on Twitch. Those watching your stream can then vote for which option they’d like you to pursue most. The results will show up as a percentage vote next to each dialogue option to both the player and audience members.
As a streamer, you can choose to abide by the vote or pick your own preferred option. Ultimately, it’ll be the player’s choice, but it gives viewers a chance to be part of their favorite streamer’s canon. The fun is in the direct engagement between the game, the streamer, and their viewers, who can participate in some way even if they don’t own the game. Viewers can even interact with the Twitch overlay to access a player’s inventory, character sheet, skills, and spells.
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As a streamer or viewer, you can also disable the feature entirely should you wish to do so. For more details, be sure to read the informative blog post on Steam accompanying the video, which contains a dedicated Q&A section.
This feature will function differently in multiplayer, as noted in the post. The text states:
If your character walks into a dialogue situation, the cinematic dialogue begins with you by yourself. If one of your posse comes close, they can choose whether or not they join you in the discussion. Once they do, they can tell you what options they would like you to select as you ponder your next choice.
Your party is of course free to roam around the world while you independently charm your way through conversation. They can even pick-pocket you while you’re in a dialogue. Or cause a fire. Or abandon you. Or, put an end to your waffling and kill the person you’re talking to.
Whatever you do, the game will react appropriately. Even if your friends aren’t.
Our ambition is to make all of this as seamless and interactive as we can and during Early Access you can expect us to continue building more and more ways to interact, observe, intraject, and subvert expectations. Raising the level of drama, and expanding the level of depth.
Jason Latino, Cinematic Director, worked with the writing and cinematics team to implement it.
“Baldur’s Gate [III] is an absolutely huge game,” says Latino. It is revealed in the Steam post that Baldur’s Gate III spans over 1.5 million words.
“I can’t think of another Early Access game that’s done cinematics on this level; that has deliberately chosen to present their story in close-up like this. There’s a lot of games where, the moment you add cinematics, they have to get smaller … We didn’t want to do that; we didn’t want to limit the stories that Larian is telling. We want you to feel like you’re telling your story and we’re shooting it for you.”
Swen Vincke, Founder of Larian Studios and Creative Director of the game, elaborates on the multiplayer version of Baldur’s Gate III. “For example, in combat, when it’s your turn and it is another player’s turn at the same time, you can now simultaneously command your party and have them interact with each other. It leads to a lot of discussions, obviously, but it is also a lot of fun.”
Regarding Twitch integration and crowd choice, Vincke believes, “it’s going to lead to a lot of very, very interesting adventures.”
“It’s an experiment, ” says Latino. “There’s not many narrative experiences of that kind. Cinematics is…typically, you watch a movie versus participate in it. Even though there are other games that allow you to choose where the story goes, there are very few games that allow you to do that in concert with your friends and through multiplayer. So, developing those scenes, figuring out when we’re trying this, what works and what doesn’t, throwing stuff out, adding things in, mutating, rewriting, re-shooting — that’s an organic process that we all get to do together. That’s what Early Access is all about — figuring out what has impacted you guys, what has resonance, and how we can surface that more in the way that we choose to do our work.”
Baldur’s Gate III’s Early Access will be released “assuming everything works out exactly as it should” at 10 a.m. PT on Sept. 30 for PC and Google Stadia.