Baldur's Gate III is scheduled to launch later this year on PS5, Mac, and PC. So, in anticipation of the release, the Fallout creator Tim Cain has shared an interesting insight into a proposal he created for an alternative unmade version of Baldur's Gate III.
The proposal was created while he was still at Troika Games, and was discovered when Cain was recently searching for materials related to the D&D game he was the project leader on, The Temple of Elemental Evil. The document is dated July 2003, which means that it would have been created near the end of that game's development.
As explained in the video, Troika's plan for Baldur's Gate III was for a PC-only game that would have been played in first-person, switching to third-person only for melee combat — not too dissimilar to how Jedi Outcast handled its lightsaber battles. This is obviously a slightly different take than what Larian ended up doing with its own version of the game, with the upcoming release featuring a pseudo-isometric view instead.
Troika planned to include 7 races in total (dwarf, elf, half-elf, halfling, human, gnome, and half-orc), as well as 8 classes (bard, cleric, druid, fighter, mage, monk, ranger, rogue), with the player's skills being decided based on their class before being further adjusted by their selected race. Intelligence and wisdom were not going to be included in the game, with the only attributes present being purely physical in nature (strength, dexterity, constitution, and charisma). As a result, the title would have been much more action-oriented.
As Cain explained, Troika's version of the project would have also taken place in and around the city of Baldur's Gate and was going to ship with a single-player mode, as well as two separate types of multiplayer experience (with the possibility of players creating their own user-made maps).
In the video, Cain revealed:
"The game was in real time and as I said earlier, we were planning on making a multiplayer option, where if you chose it you could either be co-op multiplayer (so you and your friends would be in the same group and going on quests together) or we had a competitive multiplayer where you could either fight each other in arenas (or you could both try to go on the same quest and see who finished it first). So, sometimes it would be PVP and sometimes it would be you’re competing to finish the quest."
As time now tells us, none of the above actually ended up happening, with the project (for better or worse) not being picked up for further development. Instead, the staff at Troika (including Cain) ended up working on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, a title that has since gone on to develop a cult reputation online.
If you haven't already, we recommend subscribing to Cain's channel Cain On Games for more incredible stories like this, from his forty-year-long history in the games industry.