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Hatching the Dragon: A Divine Documentary

| 18 Oct 2012 18:30

Larian Studios takes an up-close-and-personal look at the ins and outs of making videogames.

Divinity II: Ego Draconis was Larian Studios' first foray into the world of console game development, and it wasn't what you'd call a huge hit. The original release has a Metacritic score of just 62, while the remastered Dragon Knight Saga, which includes the Flames of Vengeance DLC, managed a better but still not spectacular 72.

There are a few reasons for that, based on Hatching the Dragon, Larian's 18-minute look back at the making of the game, but the biggest appears to be a simple lack of familiarity with the terrain. Developing for consoles imposed a whole new set of restrictions and requirements on the process, leading to rushed work, cut features and even ongoing problems with third-party QA companies. In all fairness, it sounds like Larian's approach to the process wasn't exactly "by the corporate book" either, and the culture clash was probably inevitable.

It's a bit of a mish-mash of filmmaking but even so, it's an informative and often amusing look at some of the obstacles small studios face when developing games for big platforms and throws a little light on why the PC is (and, for the foreseeable future, will almost certainly remain) the platform of choice for indies. It also explains why the Divinity Anthology, a package including Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity, Divinity 2: Director's Cut and a whole pile of bonus stuff, is PC exclusive.

Hatching the Dragon obviously appeals first and foremost to Larian fans, but anyone interested in a look at life inside a small, indie game studio will probably get a bang out of it. Enjoy!

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