Wizards of the Coast Announces Sci-Fi Video Game with ex-BioWare Developers

Wizards of the Coast announced they are forming a new video game studio called Archetype Entertainment headed by former BioWare developers James Ohlen and Chad Robertson. Ohlen will serve as the Head of Studio while Robertson will take on the title of General Manager. The debut project from the studio will be an original IP, “set in an all-new science fiction universe that will send players on a story-driven epic where choices they make will have real consequences on how their story unfolds.”

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Ohlen's credits at BioWare include Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect, Anthem, and of course Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2, and Neverwinter Nights. Roberts served as Head of Technology for BioWare from 2015 to 2019 and Studio Director from 2017 to 2019. In addition to their video game credits, Ohlen and Robertson also collaborated on the recently released 5e compatible campaign setting book Odyssey of the Dragonlords distributed by Modiphius.

Wizards of the Coast originally announced the formation of this new video game studio in April of last year.
 
Darryl Mott

Comments

Abstruse

Adventurer
In a community the shared understandings of broadly accepted terminology is important.
So then you agree that we should use the same terms the game developers, publishers, and distributors use? Which would define Action RPGs as games like Skyrim, Witcher 3, Mass Effect, Fallout, etc.? I mean if using shared understanding of broadly accepted terminology is important, you'd think the people making the games would be the ones to ask what genre they are...
 
So then you agree that we should use the same terms the game developers, publishers, and distributors use? Which would define Action RPGs as games like Skyrim, Witcher 3, Mass Effect, Fallout, etc.? I mean if using shared understanding of broadly accepted terminology is important, you'd think the people making the games would be the ones to ask what genre they are...
They catagories them in the way they think will shift the most copies. There are no broadly accepted definitions.
 

ZeshinX

Explorer
How you personally categorize them isn't relevant, except how it creates confusion because you are applying a personal definition to a discussion about a broadly accepted term. It would be (just as a random example) like me calling 4E a deck building game because I use cards to keep track of my character's abilities -- it would muddy the waters of any potential discussions with people that don't know that I am using a personal definition.

In a community the shared understandings of broadly accepted terminology is important.
To each their own. How you deal with confusion is just as valid as how I do, and your thoughts and opinions are just as relevant/irrelevant as the ones I hold.

I offer my thoughts and personal definitions for what they're worth. They are not gospel. They are not the only way. They're just mine and shared for any who may find them useful in forming their own thoughts and definitions, be they to support their own, or act as a guide on how not to do things or somewhere in the vast middle. I daresay it's pretty clear where your own thoughts fall. ;)
 
I am hearing reports that Drew Karpyshyn (lead writer, Mass Effect, ME2, KotOR) has joined this party.

Which IMO is awesome news.
 

ZeshinX

Explorer
WotC doesn't want to risk their D&D IP for the first game (in case the game sucks), so they're going to try creating a new IP first to test the waters - and the team.
I'm sure they want to be more careful with the brand in the video game world, that's for sure. Sword Coast Legends left a pretty big stain on it (and killed a studio in the process).

Hopefully Larian can knock Baldur's Gate 3 out of the park.
 

ZeshinX

Explorer
I had such high hopes for that game.
Many did, though they were claiming to be pulling off what no one had (really) pulled off successfully at that time....a full single-player RPG + DM client + multiplayer element + toolset + scheduling with print publishing (Rage of Demons storyline).

All that from a studio who, pretty much exclusively to that point, made Wii ports of already built games.

nSpace was never going to pull that off...it's just a shame it was a failure so monumental that it killed them in the process.
 

Reynard

Legend
Many did, though they were claiming to be pulling off what no one had (really) pulled off successfully at that time....a full single-player RPG + DM client + multiplayer element + toolset + scheduling with print publishing (Rage of Demons storyline).

All that from a studio who, pretty much exclusively to that point, made Wii ports of already built games.

nSpace was never going to pull that off...it's just a shame it was a failure so monumental that it killed them in the process.
I am considering using Divinity:Original Sin 2 DM mode to run my next campaign after I finish Avernus. Using Fantasy Grounds really makes me want to find a hybrid between traditional tabletop and video game, which is what SCL should have been.
 

ZeshinX

Explorer
I am considering using Divinity:Original Sin 2 DM mode to run my next campaign after I finish Avernus. Using Fantasy Grounds really makes me want to find a hybrid between traditional tabletop and video game, which is what SCL should have been.
To those who want a hybridization, I wish them luck in such an endeavor, but it's one I will never touch, support or buy into (I doubt I'm alone in such a sentiment, but I speak only for myself).

With a video game, I want a video game. With a TTRPG, I want a TTRPG with no technology getting in the way (tried it and it was disastrous...more time was spent by the group showing each other funny memes, posting on social media about what we were SUPPOSED to be doing instead of actually doing, and troubleshooting the tech itself when it was slow/not working right/glitching/trying to find the relevant rules...in short, a complete waste of time).

I'm sure others have had far better experiences, but the pinnacle of tech I want at my TTRPG gaming table is a mechanical pencil.
 

Reynard

Legend
I find the "halfway" point of the VTT to be more distracting. I love being able to play with my friends dispersed across the country, but sometimes it creates a video game mindset in some players and actually playing a video game would be more worthwhile.

In face to face games, I am bare bones and analog.
 

ZeshinX

Explorer
I find the "halfway" point of the VTT to be more distracting. I love being able to play with my friends dispersed across the country, but sometimes it creates a video game mindset in some players and actually playing a video game would be more worthwhile.

In face to face games, I am bare bones and analog.
That sounds like where I sit. If I'm going to play TT D&D, it's in person and analog. If I can't play with everyone in the same room, around the same table, then I don't play and will do something else, or play a video game instead (a single-player game, I don't play multiplayer video games...I prefer a solo experience with video games...tried MP, just not for me).

I don't begrudge the existence of digital TT tools and their ilk, nor wish any ill upon those who find those things useful and/or enjoyable...but that kind of tech will simply never be something I bother with.
 

Reynard

Legend
I don't begrudge the existence of digital TT tools and their ilk, nor wish any ill upon those who find those things useful and/or enjoyable...but that kind of tech will simply never be something I bother with.
I resisted Fantasy Grounds for a long time. When I finally gave it a go, it was a revelation. Being able to play again with those friends on a regular schedule was amazing. it still is. But the cracks are starting to show and I either want less automation, or much more. It's the middle ground that is bothering me.
 

ZeshinX

Explorer
I resisted Fantasy Grounds for a long time. When I finally gave it a go, it was a revelation. Being able to play again with those friends on a regular schedule was amazing. it still is. But the cracks are starting to show and I either want less automation, or much more. It's the middle ground that is bothering me.
For me it's the emotional feel of it. With a VTT, it felt wrong (not that it itself is wrong, merely it didn't feel right). Not being in the same space, seeing the dice roll, flip through the books...it just doesn't feel at all "right" to me being over a VTT. I'd rather not play at all to be honest (sad, but TT gaming is very much an in-person activity for me...no digital aids will ever be able to effectively simulate it for me).
 

Reynard

Legend
For me it's the emotional feel of it. With a VTT, it felt wrong (not that it itself is wrong, merely it didn't feel right). Not being in the same space, seeing the dice roll, flip through the books...it just doesn't feel at all "right" to me being over a VTT. I'd rather not play at all to be honest (sad, but TT gaming is very much an in-person activity for me...no digital aids will ever be able to effectively simulate it for me).
It's definitely a different beast, but for me it is better than NOT being able to play with old friends.
 

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