Xalavier Nelson Jr. Profile picture
Jul 8 10 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Like a lot of people, I'm deeply excited about what the lovely folks at Larian accomplished with Baldur's Gate 3, but I want to gently, pre-emptively push back against players taking that excitement and using it to apply criticism or a "raised standard" to RPGs going forward
You can't separate a game from the process used to build it, so let's look at what Larian is taking into the development and final version of this game:
1) Dev cycle stretching back to ~2017
1) Two massive games--and their Definitive editions--worth of tech and institutional knowledge to draw from
3) Super successful Early Access period lasting 3 years, providing crucial community feedback, bug hunting, and cash flow
4) Over 400 developers in 7 different offices around the world [not including outsourcing partners]
5) The license, brand, and world of one of the largest entertainment IPs in the world (D&D), at the apex of its popularity with the rise of the actual play movement, and a movie
This is a small, incomplete list.

Larian is coming into this game SWINGING, with a gigantic weight of expectation to deal with--but they're also doing it with an *immense* amount of wind (direct experience + resources + specialty tooling +++ etc.) at their backs.
As a TL;DR:
In an era of megagames, Baldur's Gate 3 is one of the largest attempted, built by a specialized group of people using mature tech specially built to make *this specific game*, reinforced by invaluable mass player feedback AND market validation ahead of its launch
This is not a new baseline for RPGs--this is an anomaly.

Trying to do the same thing in the same way, especially without the same advantages, could kill an entire GROUP of studios.
If they go as big or bigger with their next title, Larian themselves could die! That's the risk and reward of the megagame.

We are an industry dangling elephants over cliffs, pointing at the ones that don't collapse under their own weight as indictments to the ones that do.
So please, celebrate the achievement represented by Baldur's Gate 3. It looks like a massive amount of effort is about to pay off in a big way, for one of the brightest voices in the medium...

You've not just missed the point, you've created the expectations and conditions to ensure your favorite creators may never be able to give you the thing you love ever again.

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More from @WritNelson

Jun 26, 2022
I had an interesting experience at a metal show that is making me reflect on community, and the spaces we inhabit.

Because I have now become That Guy, this is a thread about moshing.
I’m new to the punk scene. I’ve always loved the music, but never participated until recently.

One of the things that surprised me most is that despite moshing taking several forms, many of those forms were not… violent. Physical, yes, but not intended to harm.
In my experience, moshing has been an enthusiastic celebration of being physically present in this space, in this time, with these people, right now. It’s viscerally communal. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I love it.

And that got dinged up a bit tonight.
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Mar 2, 2021
beer cans are just juiceboxes for adults

we would cut alcoholism by over 70% if we normalized adult juice box consumption

everyone just wants a juice box, man
organs are just juice boxes *inside of your body*, if you really think about it. there's a synchronicity in the meat. like attracting like.

we wish to consume that which we already have.
What is the measure of a man?

Well, if you squeeze in the right place, assuming no additional liquid volume due to the pulping/disintegration of internal viscera, you'd get about 5 liters--
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Jan 24, 2021
in recognition of the commercial conditions under which we make our art

i have made your fiancee in dog airport game

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please make this sin worthwhile

please wishlist our open-world comedy game about stock photo dogs
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Jan 22, 2021
So, I understand the frustration around Hitman 3 server weirdness--I'm dealing with a lot too--but I want to very quickly list the factors going into what's being done here, because I've been in games nearly a decade, and I have literally not seen a single thing on this scale.
In the five years since HITMAN (2016) we've got:
1) Publisher change
2) A mix of episodic and non-episodic releases
3) Customized DLC scenarios (pre-orders, retailer bonuses, etc.)
4) 2 console generations
5) Physical releases in several territories

6) ...Digital launches in several territories
7) Multiple physical and digital SKUs with overlapping content
8) Universal profile progression
9) Cross-level progression
10) Customized server architecture across 3 platforms
11) User-generated content across 3 platforms

Read 15 tweets
Aug 20, 2020
Heya! The thread I did earlier today ended in a pun, but the reality of unstable (and/or terrifying!) work conditions in games is based on real experience. My own, and those of every developer I know.

Keeping it quiet is the standard.
I don't know a single dev who HASN'T gone through something buck-wild/awful.

I've spent hours joking with folks in DMs about the fictional creative director, or the whims of corporate fate wiping a project off the map, because we've all been there.
If we didn't laugh, we'd cry.
So, when game developers tell you about a sexist workplace or distressing coworkers--believe them.

We're so used to hiding 'small' injustices that even the truly awful barely bubbles to the surface.

Read 5 tweets
Aug 20, 2020
Okay, I just had a VERY interesting DM conversation.

With permission from the developer (who will remain anonymous), I'm sharing it.

A little context:
For 2 years, I ran a column for PC Gamer magazine called 'Inside Development'.

Every month, I'd talk to a bunch of developers about an invisible part of game dev, and write it up to give an insight into the awful, beautiful miracle that is game development.

...Strangely enough, people still recognize me for doing that column!

However, I also, occasionally, still get *developers* in my mentions, desperate to tell their story.

Read 99 tweets

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