Giving the talk were four prominent figures in the development team, Associate Producer Cinematics Cindy Aria Dharma, Associate Lead Automation QA Megat Denney, Associate Gameplay QA Producer Samantha Law, and Senior Character Artist Wayne Chu.
Cindy starts off the talk, mentioning the 24 hour production cycle with Baldur’s Gate 3, where it means that there’s no down time as Larian as various studios all across the world, which essentially fills in the gap of a day.
She continues by talking about working at Larian Studios, where they practise the Larian Way where they have something called the developers ownership. She mentions that Swen Vicke (Larian Studio CEO) gives a lot of creative autonomy to the developers themselves, which means that developers have a lot of creative input.
Cindy brought up the Search Tree of Creativity which allows the developers to be creative, fail and succeed.
“If you don’t fail, you won’t succeed. You’ll need to hit a wall sometime to find the best solution for everything”
Cindy mentioned that Larian are always looking for new hires, where they’re looking for passionate individuals, developers who push the boundaries and think out of the box, as well as highly motivated individuals who love doing what they do.
Megat continues the talk by bringing up the topic of Automation QA and the Automation Script, which is a program that speeds up the testing of situations that the developers don’t want to spend too much time and resources on testing the tedious process.
He did mention that there are, however, limitations of the automation scripts where it can’t replace the human eye. For example, sound design, cinematics, art, and so on.
“We normally use this [Automation Script] just to test scripting and quest design stuff.”
Samantha then talks about how she started her role in Larian, where she mentioned how people don’t need to be in the game industry to work in part of the game industry.
She talks about what people in gameplay QA do, and that a common misconception is that they just sit down and play games. They spend a lot of time checking if the game works as intended versus what they actually see.
“In essence, the number one thing that Gameplay QA are involved in is collecting bugs. We see problems, we report them.”
She continues by saying that QA testers also need to communicate properly and effectively regarding the bugs they find with the developers, both within the office and other studios around the world.
QA are responsible for a lot of documentation of bugs that were found, which help with testing to be as thorough as possible, and to keep track of all testing done. The talk then continues with Wayne talking about the creation process for characters in Baldur’s Gate 3.
He talks about the general overview of the art department, it starts with modelling and creating high quality 3D assets, building a pipeline to bake those high quality details to a more low poly file, and customisation systems.
Throughout his segment, Wayne breaks down the intricacy and technicality when it comes to bringing a character to life in Baldur’s Gate 3, considering how customisable the player character can be, as well as the countless NPCs that are in the game.