Larian Studios

Larian Studios, the developer of Dragon Commander and the company where I'm currently employed, is the biggest independent game developer in Belgium. They were founded in 1996 and became internationally known for their Divinity franchise, from which the first episode made place 74 in the top 100 games of all time in PC Gamer magazine. They have been independent since their latest release of Divinity II - ego draconis in 2010. Larian Studios was also the first Belgian game developer to produce an educational game that is embedded in the educational program of many primary schools.

Currently Larian Studios has just released Dragon Commander and is finishing Divinity: Original Sin that was funded trough KickStarter. They have got an in house engine which they use for both games.

What I Did?

  1. Mainly Gameplay programming.
  2. Engine programming if features required engine extension.
  3. Focus on RTS Combat phase.
  4. Order pipeline (move, attackmove, hold, patrol, skill..).
  5. Skill execution for several units.
  6. Local AI of all units (how they behave when the player is not controlling them).
  7. Intelligent pathfinding.
  8. AI-grid generation in editor to support pathfinding.
  9. Buildsite logic (capturing, decapturing)
  10. Network programming during implementation of a lobby system with Steam API(multiplayer).
  11. ..and many more..


This was my first RTS programming experience. It was very interesting investigating other RTS-games seeing why things were done the way they are done, why some things work and others don't. Understanding why some local AI behavior would heavily anoy players was critically for implementing decent gameplay. Weigh the pro's and cons between what's visually interesting and what works for gameplay, with the conclusion that it's not so bad to have a little jitter here and there or an instant (unrealistic) rotation on a unit, as long as the game keeps on being fun, the player probably won't even notice it.