Icewind Dale expands

Black Isle talk about their free new add-on for Icewind Dale

Source - RPG Vault

Hack 'n' slash role-playing game Icewind Dale has already spawned an official add-on called Heart of Winter, but apparently developers Black Isle Studios still weren't satisfied. And so for the last few months they've been working on a new free add-on for the game, originally described as a "downloadable dungeon set" but now turning into something even bigger.

"The idea was that we were going to put together a couple of free dungeon levels so players could continue their adventures beyond the scope of Heart of Winter", designer Steve Bokkes told RPG Vault. "It sounded pretty straightforward at first. It wasn't until we actually began to design the first few areas and flesh out the details of the story that we began to see the project as much more than a mere dungeon set. Suddenly, in addition to the two massive, subterranean levels we originally planned for, we had an entire ruined castle, complete with a multi-level keep, four towers and an enclosed courtyard."

"Then, on top of that, we decided that the story demanded even more areas. So we added a sprawling, maze-like crypt and a huge dungeon complex beneath the castle. In total, I think we have well over 200 screens worth of new level art and God knows how many pages of design material for this free expansion."

Despite this early onset of feature creep, Black Isle are still hoping to have the free expansion set (or whatever it ends up being called) ready for release some time in June. Good news for role-playing fans then, as June should also see the long-awaited arrival of the Baldur's Gate II add-on Throne of Bhaal in shops across Europe. It looks like elf lovers and tree huggers will be bathing in the radiation of their monitors this summer instead of the glorious sunshine outside...

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