Larian Had a Radical New Approach to Make Baldur’s Gate 3: “People still underestimate how much work these big RPGs are”

Baldur's Gate 3 Almost Had a Portable Hole

baldur’s gate 3,

SUMMARY

  • Game development involves a lot of ideas, creativity and feature implementation. But not all of them make it to the final cut.
  • One interesting aspect of Baldur's Gate 3's development is the influence of immersive sim fans among the scripters.
  • When developing the game, Larian Studios had ambitious ideas, including a portable hole that could store anything from items to characters.
Show More
Featured Video

In the broad canvas of game development, every choice matters, even those that are abandoned on the cutting room floor. Baldur’s Gate 3, the highly anticipated RPG by Larian Studios also had its share of abandoned ideas.

Advertisement

Swen Vincke, Larian’s CEO, stated that the team frequently tests with creative concepts, but many of them never make it into the game owing to the enormous difficulty of building a large-scale RPG.

The Ideas of Larian’s Development Team for Baldur’s Gate 3

The Ideas of Larian’s Development Team for Baldur’s Gate 3
The Portable Hole That Never Was in Baldur’s Gate 3. | Larian

In an interview with RockPaperShotgun that included a conversation about the ideas and approaches to developing huge RPGs, Larian CEO Swen Vincke talked about the enormous amount of labor needed in these games.

Advertisement

He explained how many minor, unique aspects frequently go unnoticed by gamers. Adam Smith, the chief writer of Baldur’s Gate 3, stated that several scripters on the team were fans of immersive sims. He said:

You can see, I think, in Baldur’s Gate 3 that there were a lot of scripters who are immersive sim fans, and who are bringing ideas from elsewhere. The world is sandboxy, and within that they are playing with their favourite genres. I get to play with horror, you know, one of my favourite genres, in the storytelling.

These scripters took influences and concepts from their favorite genres and included them in Baldur’s Gate 3. These included the sandbox aspects of sims and experimenting with various storytelling approaches.

This kind of approach with a broad range of ideas shows the ingenuity and creativity of the dev team. But as Vincke has previously admitted, even some mistakes got through.

Advertisement

This influx of ideas was definitely one of the contributing factors to what is now a very highly rated story and game universe by the fans. And even then it’s crazy to think that there were even more ideas from the team that didn’t even make it in.

The Portable Hole That Never Was in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Portable Hole That Never Was in Baldur's Gate 3
The Ideas of Larian’s Development Team for Baldur’s Gate 3. Larian

When the discussion steered to the topic of not included ideas and concepts, a very common thing to see in video game development, Vincke said:

But there’s always stuff happening that you never see….I think people still underestimate how much work these big RPGs are already, and how many components there are in there – you never see a lot of small things that are being done, but there’s a lot of innovation happening, other things that never see the daylight.”

The portable hole is one of the most popular, and funny ideas that didn’t make it into Baldur’s Gate 3. This Looney Tunes-inspired idea would have enabled players to throw stuff, equipment, and even characters into a bottomless pit, avoiding carrying capacity restrictions.

Advertisement

Larian’s quality assurance (QA) team finally decided to remove the portable hole since they found the mechanism too troublesome and potentially game-breaking. With how difficult it is to test and repair bugs in a game the size of Baldur’s Gate 3, Vincke joked that introducing such a feature would have been a “crime against humanity.”

While players ultimately don’t get to experience the wonders of a portable bottomless pit in Baldur’s Gate 3, they can still experience the game’s richness and intricacy in so many other ways.

The Portable Hole That Never Was in Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the greatest games. | Larian

The decisions that game developers make to include certain things while excluding others just bring to light the delicate balance that must be found between creativity and practicality to make sure that the final product is both pleasant and stable.

Advertisement
Avatar

Written by Daniel Royte

Articles Published: 65

Daniel is a gamer through and through with a passion for gaming in his veins. His current adventures have taken him into the world of Elden Ring, Wuthering Waves, and Genshin Impact, amongst others.