|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » BioWare - What They're Trying to Do @ Kotaku

Default BioWare - What They're Trying to Do @ Kotaku

March 22nd, 2010, 10:35
Kotaku reports BioWare's Vision Statement and the advantages they see in the RPG genre to deliver those benefits:
I spoke to the men running the studio behind many of the world's biggest role-playing games a couple of weeks ago, to discuss a variety of things. I left with a bonus: The BioWare Vision Statement.
Here is that vision, from the mouth of Ray Muzyka, EA's general manager for (as he named them) BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Austin, BioWare Mythic and BioWare Montreal: "Create, deliver and evolve the most emotionally engaging gaming experiences in the world. That's the vision for the BioWare group across the four studios, and they all have different ways to approach that."
Thanks, Omega.
More information.
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
SasqWatch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,967

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 10:35
"Create, deliver and evolve the most emotionally engaging gaming experiences in the world."

Sounds like a typical political/commercial slogan
SveNitoR is offline

SveNitoR

Sentinel

#2

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 357

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 11:56
Who is supposed to get excited by this sort of pap? Fans? Investors? I hope they don't think it's going to inspire their staff. To be fair, it's hard to imagine a mission statement that would succeed. The whole idea is a lame MBA cliche.

my novel: bit.ly/dreamlandsbook
screeg is offline

screeg

screeg's Avatar
floating head

#3

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 865

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 12:46
Emotionally engaging?

Maybe they should be in the movies or be writing books.

I tend to play games for the gameplay, and I don't have to find it emotionally engaging to keep playing. Intellectually stimulating, perhaps, but that's not the same thing.

Then again, I don't represent the norm.

However, if they REALLY want to emulate Hollywood with a bit of interaction on top - then maybe they should consider focusing on the writing being less clichéd and unoriginal. Then again, that's exactly what Hollywood is about - so…
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#4

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,580

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 14:29
What's Hollywood's got to do with any of this? Hollywood usually doesn't make "emotionally engaging films". Gameplay is the most important thing to me too, but I like it when RPGs are emotionally engaging. It may not be inspiring, but I totally understand what they're saying. Like when you connect with NPCs, when you actually get to know them.. In Dragon Age I got the feeling they were real people. I'm glad Bioware's doing that kind of thing. But they do lack originality, that is true…

I feel like I could… like I could… TAKE ON THE WORLD!!!
Malk is offline

Malk

Malk's Avatar
The Tentacle

#5

Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 231

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 15:04
Originally Posted by Malk View Post
What's Hollywood's got to do with any of this? Hollywood usually doesn't make "emotionally engaging films". Gameplay is the most important thing to me too, but I like it when RPGs are emotionally engaging. It may not be inspiring, but I totally understand what they're saying. Like when you connect with NPCs, when you actually get to know them.. In Dragon Age I got the feeling they were real people. I'm glad Bioware's doing that kind of thing. But they do lack originality, that is true…
What's Hollywood got to do with this?

Well, it's what Bioware games remind me of. They're interactive movies more than anything else, and that's simply not what I'm looking for in a game.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#6

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,580

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 15:23
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
What's Hollywood got to do with this?

Well, it's what Bioware games remind me of. They're interactive movies more than anything else, and that's simply not what I'm looking for in a game.
I sadly have to agree here with respect to ME2 at least. If you take out the pure shooter gameplay from ME2, what you are left with is basically the same type of interactive movie found in Heavy Rain, although with arguably less ability to influence the story.
dagoo7 is offline

dagoo7

Watchdog

#7

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 181

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 17:02
Speaking of Heavy Rain - that's about as far away from my kind of game as you can possibly get.

It's basically a pure movie, but everything good about the movie is ruined by the utterly horrid idea of having the player figthing a pathetically stupid interface to make characters do whatever the movie requires them to do.

It's what I would call a gameplay-void interactive movie. The player being the poor hamster having to keep the wheel running, so the movie can continue.

From my point of view, it's what happens when people with zero understanding of gaming and the history of gaming get into the industry - with a motive to change what they don't understand into something they DO understand, which is apparently how to make a compelling movie. This is where I have to stand and wonder: why not simply make a movie? If nothing else, then just tell the story through cutscenes and do away with the interaction bits altogether, because that's clearly not where your talents lie.

Bioware seems to be heading in the same direction, but at least their gameplay is simply boring - rather than frustrating.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,580

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 19:09
Big companies tend to generate Mission Statements, it's the kind of things HR departments come up with in order to justify their existence and execs love because they read a book about raising employee morale or something. Eye-rolling cheese, but that is what life is like in the business world.

We got a big speech at work the other day about working smarter, not harder. That, given the option, we should always choose to try to work smarter, instead of harder.

No shit, really? Could you be more patronizing, please?

Indie game developer.

Dev Blog
Naked Ninja is offline

Naked Ninja

Naked Ninja's Avatar
Watchdog

#9

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 195

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 21:31
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
From my point of view, it's what happens when people with zero understanding of gaming and the history of gaming get into the industry - with a motive to change what they don't understand into something they DO understand, which is apparently how to make a compelling movie.
Given both the critical success and - anecdotally - the positive feedback I've seen from many gamers (including on this site), I'd suggest you just don't get it. It wouldn't work - and isn't just - a movie because the interactive parts are critical to investing players.

Heavy Rain certainly isn't a traditional game form and I can understand not everyone would enjoy but I'd rather see some experimentation with narrative form than not.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
SasqWatch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#10

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,967

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 21:58
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Given both the critical success and - anecdotally - the positive feedback I've seen from many gamers (including on this site), I'd suggest you just don't get it. It wouldn't work - and isn't just - a movie because the interactive parts are critical to investing players.

Heavy Rain certainly isn't a traditional game form and I can understand not everyone would enjoy but I'd rather see some experimentation with narrative form than not.
It is true that the goal of the game as interactive movie is to make the player feel a more visceral connection and involvement with the story. And I think it succeeds in doing this. However, I think one could justifiably argue that a lot of the interactivity here is meaningless and just busy work that in many ways distracts from the narrative. In fact the narrative often stops in order to provide some form of meaningless interactivity (oftimes silly and pedestrian) simply for interactivity's sake.

While this does keep one busy and helps distract from the logical inconsistencies (of which there are more than a few) in the narrative, they really don't advance the narrative or mean anything. In that sense, it could be said that the "game" elements of this often fail, or do not help achieve narrative goals. Frankly, I would prefer if you keep interactive movies and games largely separate and distinct, but I think I am a minority.
dagoo7 is offline

dagoo7

Watchdog

#11

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 181

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 22:07
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Given both the critical success and - anecdotally - the positive feedback I've seen from many gamers (including on this site), I'd suggest you just don't get it. It wouldn't work - and isn't just - a movie because the interactive parts are critical to investing players.

Heavy Rain certainly isn't a traditional game form and I can understand not everyone would enjoy but I'd rather see some experimentation with narrative form than not.
I don't get it?

Maybe I just don't like it - and others do?

I don't get why Avatar is being hailed as basically the best movie ever, either.

Maybe it's because I have weird ideas about movies needing a strong story or characters to be truly great, and games needing strong gameplay for that same achievement.

Basically, I suspect people are simply shallow and fall in love with the spectacle too easily.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#12

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,580

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 22:43
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I don't get it?
… and games needing strong gameplay for that same achievement.

Basically, I suspect people are simply shallow and fall in love with the spectacle too easily.
Well, sports and racegames are as close to pure gameplay as one can get (no stories or interactivity with the surroundings) but that's not the type of game I like.

I guess the RPG equivalant of a sports game is a diablo clone or roguelike and I don't like those those either.
JuliusMagnus is offline

JuliusMagnus

Indulgent Wastrel

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 405

Default 

March 22nd, 2010, 22:53
Originally Posted by JuliusMagnus View Post
Well, sports and racegames are as close to pure gameplay as one can get (no stories or interactivity with the surroundings) but that's not the type of game I like.
At least I recognize the appeal of sports and racegames, even if I don't personally enjoy them.

But I don't care particularly about "pure" gameplay. I'm looking for mentally stimulating gameplay, and as I said - I personally find Heavy Rain to be about as far away from that as I can imagine. There's absolutely no meaningful thought involved, and my hamster-wheel analogy is still the best I can come up with. You simply do what the game tells you to do, and you don't enjoy the interaction. At least, I can't see how anyone COULD enjoy the interaction.

Maybe it represents an illusion of player involvement - but it certainly doesn't work for me.

It would be exactly like watching a movie with a ton of pauses. Like someone taking the remote control, putting the movie on pause, and asking you to perform some arbitrary movement or hand signal to simulate what's happening on screen and then resuming the movie when he's satisfied you did something that got close enough.

I guess the RPG equivalant of a sports game is a diablo clone or roguelike and I don't like those those either.
I don't really see much sense in direct genre comparisons, because that would be ignoring why genres are there in the first place.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#14

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,580

Default 

March 23rd, 2010, 08:53
Muzyka's colleague, BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk offered his way of looking at it: "People are thinking about our games after they play them. The average game.. you play it, you experience it, your go back to work or home and it doesn't stick with you. Somehow, our stuff sticks with you. It's the character interactions, all these things that Ray discussed. It all lives with you after."
I loled at this. What are they smoking? Epic fail.

BG2 fan girl
BG2: Eowyn & Anomen
IWD: Orhlanna & Korin
ME: Shepard & Garrus
purpleblob is offline

purpleblob

purpleblob's Avatar
Princess

#15

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,069

Default 

March 23rd, 2010, 09:21
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
I loled at this. What are they smoking? Epic fail.
They certainly seem to be a bit full of themselves
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#16

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,580

Default 

March 23rd, 2010, 12:09
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
They certainly seem to be a bit full of themselves
And yet "Game of the Year" after "Game of the Year" awards, huge sales figures and a GENERALLY very positive feedback from GAMERS to all of their games suggest that perhaps they're on to something.

I don't like mafia themed anything, so naturally I find the Godfather trilogy about as exciting as having all my teeth undergo root canal treatment at the same time without anesthetics … but I'm not conceited enough to imagine that just because I don't like something nobody else should.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
fatBastard() is offline

fatBastard()

fatBastard()'s Avatar
Hello, I'm a Zombaholic

#17

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just outside of Copenhagen
Posts: 778

Default 

March 23rd, 2010, 12:17
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
And yet "Game of the Year" after "Game of the Year" awards, huge sales figures and a GENERALLY very positive feedback from GAMERS to all of their games suggest that perhaps they're on to something.

I don't like mafia themed anything, so naturally I find the Godfather trilogy about as exciting as having all my teeth undergo root canal treatment at the same time without anesthetics … but I'm not conceited enough to imagine that just because I don't like something nobody else should.
You seem to be under the impression that I don't think anyone should like their games. That's a mistake on your part.

I like Bioware games and I consider them quality products. That's not the same as thinking they're what I would prefer - or that I support their ideas about making interactive movies. I think their games would be infinitely better with a different mindset - but that's just me.

I personally don't want a movie when I'm playing a game, and I think it's a bad idea because we already have movies. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy a decent sci-fi movie with a bit of interaction and samey shooter gameplay - which is what I consider Mass Effect 2 to be. I'd just prefer they focus on gameplay instead of the movie aspects.

I have no problem with other people thinking differently, and I don't understand how you could come to that conclusion unless you already had it before reading.

Still, I think they're a bit full of themselves claiming their games are unique in how they make people think about things. That would be conceited, if anything.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#18

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,580

Default 

March 23rd, 2010, 13:22
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You seem to be under the impression that I don't think anyone should like their games. That's a mistake on your part.

I like Bioware games and I consider them quality products. That's not the same as thinking they're what I would prefer - or that I support their ideas about making interactive movies. I think their games would be infinitely better with a different mindset - but that's just me.

I personally don't want a movie when I'm playing a game, and I think it's a bad idea because we already have movies. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy a decent sci-fi movie with a bit of interaction and samey shooter gameplay - which is what I consider Mass Effect 2 to be. I'd just prefer they focus on gameplay instead of the movie aspects.

I have no problem with other people thinking differently, and I don't understand how you could come to that conclusion unless you already had it before reading.

Still, I think they're a bit full of themselves claiming their games are unique in how they make people think about things. That would be conceited, if anything.
Nobody questions that Chess has excellent gameplay/replay value but I doubt anyone has ever thought about how the poor pawns are being exploited and used for cannon fodder or wondered whether the queen was cheating on the king with one of the bishops or not. But then again that was never a part of the whole Chess concept.

What the Bioware Vision Statement and what the quote from Greg Zeschuk suggests, however, is that Bioware's focus in making games is not, I repeat NOT, on making a Chess killer but to make games where you DO wonder about the indiscretions of the queen or why the rook prefers to prance around outside instead of staying home with the wife and kids.

You can dispute whether they succeed or not and your own emotional complexity/simplicity may find the topics they treat fitting or trivial, but with a clear statement in place of what they were trying to achieve it is no longer valid to argue that ME2 should be more like Chess because that was never what they were aiming for.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
fatBastard() is offline

fatBastard()

fatBastard()'s Avatar
Hello, I'm a Zombaholic

#19

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just outside of Copenhagen
Posts: 778

Default 

March 23rd, 2010, 14:04
Hm, yeah, I know, this is the place where people talk about the doings of Bioware.
But the next lines got my attention.
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But I don't care particularly about "pure" gameplay. I'm looking for mentally stimulating gameplay
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
Nobody questions that Chess has excellent gameplay/replay value
I recently discovered a board game called Twilight Struggle. Since then I have played it several times; it's addictive, but it takes a whole evening to finish the game. It's mentally stimulating, challenging, thrilling. The theme, 'cold war', didn't appeal to me, but the strategic thinking involved makes me sweat.

DArtagnan, do you know it by any chance? I think you'd like it.
Here's a review:
http://sophistigames.com/Sophistigames/blog/6/

Chess, BTW, for some reason or other, has never been my 'thing'.
Omega is offline

Omega

Omega's Avatar
Low Profile

#20

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Europe
Posts: 515
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » BioWare - What They're Trying to Do @ Kotaku
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:29.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch