Baldur's Gate 3 (opens in new tab) will be all about choice, and if it lives up to its immense promise, it will be these many, game-changing decisions that'll keep players locked into the Forgotten Realms for many years. So naturally, Larian is going big on it: Baldur's Gate 3 will let players make and suggest dialogue choices to their favourite streamers.
In Larian's latest community update (opens in new tab) the developer revealed Crowd Choice for Stadia and Twitch integration, which will both allow viewers to affect a streamer's next dialogue choice. Crowd Choice will let you actively choose the next story path remotely during a YouTube livestream, whereas each dialogue option is assigned a number on Twitch, which is then subject to a vote. Presumably the streamer can then decide whether to abide or ignore their audience's wishes. Twitch viewers can also view the streamer's inventory, character sheet, skills, and spells.
Larian explains in the update that these features are all about bringing the community together, allowing the streamer to become the dungeon master for their audience, whether they own the game or not. Or they can just disable the feature completely, if they'd prefer.
Of course, audiences interacting with a streamer's game is nothing new. A recent example is Borderlands 3's ECHOcast extension, which allows viewers to check out a player's inventory, skill trees, and character build. You could also buy them an in-game drink (opens in new tab) that bestowed various buffs. That said, it'll be fascinating to see it in action in a game as deep as Baldur's Gate 3. With a script running at over 1.5 million words, two games can hardly play the same way.
In the same update, Larian also explained the role of cinematic dialogue, which will use "bespoke adaptive cameras" to add drama and depth. It's often awkward when you're in a co-op group and you're waiting for the party leader to get their quest from the relevant NPC, and Larian's system seems to be a way of making this more natural and seamless, but also to play with the concept.
How it works is, if you're in a chat with an NPC, one of your party has the option of joining in—it sounds a bit like your companions interjecting in The Outer Worlds, but controlled by actual humans. Here, they can also suggest what dialogue choices you should make, but they can also just roam around, pickpocket you, or just set fire to things. Perhaps pick your least annoying friends for this one.
Despite the ambitiousness of both features, Larian is still aiming for them to be active for Baldur's Gate 3's Early Access launch on September 30 (opens in new tab). Both are full of potential for emergent, enthralling stories, and you can find out more in Larian sixth developer video update above.
Thanks, VG247 (opens in new tab).