So, if you know me personally, follow my Facebook or Twitter, or have read my previous blog post on my favorite video games, chances are you might know how much I enjoy the game Icewind Dale made by Black Isle Studios. If you don't, well now you do! It's a turn-based role-playing game based on the second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules, set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. If that means nothing to you, you may get nothing else out of this blog post. If it intrigues you, read on!
I have played Icewind Dale on and off for most of my life, and I consider it to be one of my most cherished childhood experiences. The entire atmosphere of the game is wonderful, and playing through it with my dad and brother was one of the best things we ever did together. Of course, we didn't beat the game, even when we used cheat codes, but it was fun nevertheless. Over the years, I've attempted playing through the game and beating it, but have always stalled for one reason or another. Either I lost my saved games, got stuck at a particularly hard battle, or just had to put it aside for more productive activities and then didn't feel like picking back up in the middle of the action.
That has all changed.
Recently, Steam, a virtual store that hosts thousands of different games, came out with an enhanced edition of Icewind Dale with new bug fixes, gameplay additions, and streamlining designed to make the game more playable. But what really got my attention was the opportunity this new version presented itself in the way of multiplayer action. Always before, it had been impossible to try to do a game of Icewind Dale through LAN (and the servers for the game had gone down years ago) and so I've had to be content with a hotseat experience if I wanted to play Icewind Dale with anyone. That tends to not work very well, especially because of the intensity and difficulty of the game itself.
But this new version meant that I could play online with people. With my brother. At the same time. And we could control different characters and play through the game together. When our friend Jared mentioned that he'd love to play through with us, we were sold on the idea. We bought copies and Steam and planned out our characters.
Just this past Tuesday, we played our first session of it. We played about nine hours. I know, that sounds insane, but we were having so much fun that we didn't really pay attention to the time until it was around 2 am. And what's even cooler is that I managed to set up a Twitch account where we live-streamed the entire thing. Now, because of some poor planning on my part, the first broadcast wasn't archived on the website, but I did save the video file on the computer, so I have it, anyway. I'll probably put it up in parts on YouTube sometime, so I can have a full, permanent chronicle of the entire thing.
I write all this to say that this is going to be a regular thing. My brother Connor and our friend Jared and I are playing through the entire game of Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition and we're broadcasting it live on Twitch every time. And so if you are at all interested in watching us be goofy and fight skeletons, the link to the channel is right here. And I'll be posting on my social media whenever we play the game.
Oh, and if you haven't guessed by now, Easthaven Dreams is the name of the channel (and our multiplayer session on the game itself). It's because the first town you're in is called Easthaven, and Easthaven...well, it will always have a special place in my heart and my dreams.
It's where part of my imagination was born.