Bioware's Stanley Woo on the rushed dev cycle
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March 16th, 2011, 19:52
Stan's comments here, and in the other thread in which I posted about DA2, it certainly seems like the Bioware devs. know something is wrong, very wrong with DA2 e.g. the direction the game, the franchise has taken. It also seems like Bioware (yes, maybe even the senior management?) need new and old gamers to protest and post criticism of the game on the Bioware forums.
As I understand it, the romance now features people, npcs, being in bed with their full armours on? To me, this clearly reads like the management in both EA and Bioware want to avoid having another Fox News incident (like the one that happened with the first Mass Effect game…)
I have no idea of many copies Awakenings sold on consoles or how many copies Awakenings sold for pc. However, I find it interesting that EA and Bioware obviously still think that console players are 16-25 year old adoloscents who have an interest in blood spatters, boobs, and fast paced action. Assasin's Creed, Heavy Rain and other console games beg to differ, I find. Console gamers today are as diverse as people playing pc games. As for Awakenings, I liked it a lot. And I don't understand why people didn't like it?
As for the Bioware devs. not beeing happy about the direction of DA2, I can surely understand it. The decision to make the game a certain way to appeal to more people, the mythical creature? that is the casual gamer. I really fear that EA, and Bioware's management have made a wrong decision here. Maybe the casual gamer, or the gamer playing Call of Duty will try the game out for about ½ an hour, or maybe 1½ hour, and then leave it. The reason, I think this will be the case is this: Call of Duty gamers will maybe? get a little bored with the story, the dialogue, the characters. I'm not that sure that Bioware's new direction with first telling the legend, then making a character, then playing it real, won't get the targeted audience, the CoD players, to quit, after the first part of the game. Time will tell, I suppose.
The above is by no means an attack on CoD players, I also play Call of Duty games sometimes; it is a really great game - in its genre. And yes, there are some similarities between the gameplay, and some (very) minor similarities between the quest or mission structure. And yes, weapons can be upgraded to, armours, too.
People, especially in a creative industry, need to be able to feel happy and great and good about their work. If they don't, they end up not working at their best, and the result will be - mediocre - at best.
However, I do understand why Bioware, (and EA) made the game the way they do. And, like I've said before, I'm thankfull for the story in this game: No secret order. No saving the world. No ancient evil. This is a story-line that has been done - to death - so many times that is now has become a story that is a mockery of itself, a kliché. That's why I like the story in DA2….
Having only played the demo, unfortunately, I really can't say anything about how the execution or design has been implemented (made) in the game. But from the demo, I played, DA2 looked like itself, and by that I mean, it looked similar to DA: Origins. And I do like the new clean interface, the new art direction, the fact that there are no skills, and the way the user interface is presented.
I'm sure, though, that DA2 would have benefitted, from another 3-6 months of development. It would have been a better game, and have received better review scores, and this in turn might mean more sales. Time will tell, though, how many copies DA2, will sell…
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