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Game Design; 'Gate' Opens 'Dungeons and Dragons' Realm to Generations of Players
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Steinberg, Scott
Date: Apr 26, 2001
Start Page: T.4
Section: Tech Times; PART- T; Financial Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Interplay's hit series "Baldur's Gate" has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and won fans worldwide among adventure-game enthusiasts. James Ohlen and Kevin Martens of development house BioWare served as lead designers on "Baldur's Gate," "Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn" as well as the upcoming expansion pack "Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal."

Ohlen: The reason that "Baldur's Gate" was successful was because it appealed to the strategy/action gamer. Many of the role-playing games that came out before it were slow-paced games, often involving a turn-based combat system. "Baldur's Gate" re-created the "Dungeons and Dragons" experience and made it fast-paced without diluting the rules or strategy.

Martens: Our writers are, in no particular order, Luke Kristjanson, David Gaider, James Ohlen, Kevin Martens, Rob Bartel and Drew Karpyshyn. "Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn," for example, had over a million words of dialogue split up among several thousand unique characters and up to 300 hours of game play [depending on how thorough the player wants to be]. This equals around 100 unique subplots as well as a deep main story. I would say that it was quite the feat.

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