Leading screenwriter Baldur’s Gate 3 revealed details about the “web”, which forms 17,000 variations of the ending of the game

17,000. You can find so many variations of the endings of Baldur’s Gate 3 as a result of hundreds of options for tens of hours of game. These constantly changing plot passages are a cornerstone of a desktop&D, but to realize them in a video game seems to be an overwhelming task.

However, according to the screenwriter Baldur’s Gate 3 Adam Smith, such an opinion arises due to a common misconception regarding the idea of ​​an extensive narrative.

It’s not that you start at point A, and then continue to branch, branch and branch. People often think this way, but the problem is that if I make a choice, then the branch will be here, and suddenly I will be here and I can not return.

Such a reality would be useless for a player who could accidentally be away from the story, not having the opportunity to return to the main plot. Any master of dungeons could improvise, but in a video game this is impossible because of the more stringent rules of the narrative. Therefore, the narrative of Baldur’s Gate 3 "more like a large web – the end of the game is in its center, and the beginning of the game is on the outer edge. That is, you are moving to the same point all the time, and what happens when you get there is very different. But everything is intertwined, so you seem to dance between plots".

Smith and Director of the game Sven Vinka demonstrated these intertwood plots during a recent direct broadcast, showing how two stories go perpendicular to each other, allowing the player to jump from one thread to another if he has such a mood. The central place in this jump is occupied by a character named Jahyera, whose face long fans of Baldur’s Gate can remember the earliest games in the series.

According to Smith, Jaheira is a great example of how the threads of the narrative Baldur’s Gate 3 are intertwined:

She is quite neutral. Her morality is quite flexible. She is a good person, but ready to do bad deeds for the sake of the right results. And at the very moment when you meet her, you can be friendly due to what you have done, you can be an enemy due to what you did, or you can be almost in the middle. And when we were just starting to create this, there was always a temptation that she condemns you, but this is not so because she does not know [what you did in the past].

No matter how Larian planned that these threads will intersect, Smith notes that sometimes it is easier to say to a person to return to a critical path than to do what to do

It is really difficult.If the character dies during the battle in which you did not even want to use it, he is no longer available.You can talk to the corpse, get some kind of information from him, but he simply does not. Maybe you will not even have the opportunity to talk to him.

In one of the first game tests, such a fate befell the Jaheir herself. Three unsuccessful critical blows led to the fact that the character was destroyed even before he managed to recruit.Smith indicates the potential danger of such a situation – Jaheira is one of the main characters of the second act of the game, its existence is potentially so important for the plot that many other games would not allow her to die.

The game reacts, the game can allow this to happen. You can always get yourself out of this and return to the storyline. There are very few points in the game when you can say: "I do not know what to do next". We try to make sure that you always have a direction. Even if everything goes to hell or you decide to just kill everyone, you can pick up a thread and say: "I’m going to see what will happen next".

Smith’s web metaphor means that these "17,000" endings will not actually lead to thousands of different states of the final. It is the center of the web that serves as the end of history, that is, a point that offers much less variations from the main narrative than the outer edges. In reality, the number of true endings will be calculated by very small two -digit numbers, with thousands of possible variations, depending on how you pass the game.

Smith emphasizes that "We are not going to say that this is a world that changes with your every choice. We want to say – and this is true – that the characters react to each of your choice. Everything that you click leads to the fact that something is happening. Sometimes this is slight, sometimes barely noticeable, but all this will have a meaning from the very first click".