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September 1st, 2007, 03:43
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
One thing that bugs me about that statement is that DA was announced years before Mass Effect sometime before or around the time that NWN2 was announced.
Yep. It was announced much earlier in the development cycle than other projects usually are, primarily because BioWare wanted to reassure people that Jade Empire and Mass Effect didn't signal an end to our PC-game development.

They could have pushed out a game quickly, something using the Aurora Engine again that looked like a Neverwinter Nights module with the serial numbers filed off, but the people in high places opted to take a longer path and develop a completely new engine for the new IP.

It's been a very long road, with some major changes on the technology side — as I understand it (and I could be wrong), we went from one completely new engine to another completely new engine, both internally developed — and it's clear to everyone that the development cycle has been longer than desired.

The goal, again, as I understand it, is that the big big long long wait now means that the engine framework is in place for more than one game, so if we opt to do a Dragon Age 2, it has a much shorter turnaround time and still looks good for a game put out years from now.

I would say the communities for Mass Effect and Dragon Age are completely different. People interested in ME would be console gamers who are interested because they want the next KotOR or Jade Empire experience.

Dragon Age is billed as some sort of spiritual successor to BG and NWN.
That's an astonishingly narrow mindset. I understand that on this messageboard, some people draw a line in the sand between real RPGs and pseudo-action stuff that console people like… but there's a large fanbase that will give almost any game with the name "BioWare" on it a chance. I was one of those people before I joined the company, and if you have a crystal ball that gives you access to marketing data more accurate than our own marketing department can come up with, then by all means, apply for a job.

So, short version: what "you would say" is based on a limited data set that agrees with your specific tastes.

I'm not saying you have no point — Mass Effect might draw shooter fans who wouldn't touch a sword-swinging game with a ten-foot pole — but you are dramatically underestimating the overlap.

Dhruin: I didn't find KotOR that easy, but then, I was doing it as a Scoundrel/Consular with a Con of 12, and because I liked the characters, I hit the final level of the game, the big ugly nasty fights, with Carth and Mission as my followers. There was some teeth-gnashing there.

I personally like "unconscious 'til end of fight" because it lets developers take the gloves off. If a single special ability can kill a player and result in having to reload a game, those special abilities can make a fight too frustrating, and it has to be dumbed down. If a single special ability can kill a player until the end of combat, then you can expect a good fight to take down two-thirds of the party instead of "might get most party members into low hit points". It gives the combat designers a bit more slack to play with, and that usually results in combats that are more fun.

(And in re BioShock: I hear you, although I'm choosing not to use the vita chambers. Either stubbornness or ego-padding or something. I'd rather reload than respawn.)
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