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Default BioWare - Patrick Weekes Blogs About Game Plots

December 6th, 2006, 02:29
Good point Maylander, PLUS, posting here is helping out Bioware. It's giving them FREE publicity and exposure for their products, so really he's doing excellent PR for the company!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 7th, 2006, 08:03
Maylander: Good point.

Aries: Technically no, but as long as I walk the line carefully, life appears to be good.

I mentioned this all to my boss, who was on vacation and hadn't heard about it. His basic reaction was, "Did you leak our game? Did you leak core elements of gameplay? Did you leak the unicorns? Did you leak the part where that one guy flipped out? No? Okay, I don't really care."

Only big result was a suggestion from David Gaider to be careful after some media person contacted HIM to ask HIM if he'd like to comment on REVOLVER. Which, you know, is one of those things that gets me in trouble, especially when the media reporter falsely implies that I've already leaked lots of information, and David can just add to that… Dave didn't fall for it, but it's bad to get known as "guy who leaks stuff to the media".

"Guy who helpfully answers questions and doesn't blow any big secrets", though? That's much better.

(Also: Finally getting used to typing with only nine fingers. When this injury heals, I'm going to have to relearn it with ten again…)
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December 7th, 2006, 08:22
Hey, welcome as a registered member. We appreciate having contacts with devs and try our best to make sure we don't do anything to ruin that. Never feel pressured here and drop in anytime. We're more than happy to give Bioware good, positive exposure!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 7th, 2006, 13:37
Unless you port Dragon Age to console. That's one mistake you don't want to make.
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December 7th, 2006, 19:27
Originally Posted by abbaon View Post
Unless you port Dragon Age to console. That's one mistake you don't want to make.
Dumb developer question: why not?

(And please, don't take that as an indication of anything. I can say quite comfortably that I know less about Dragon Age than I do about the other two projects, and that the last time I was in the loop, it was PC-only.)

I only ask because almost all the recent big-budget RPGs have come out on more than one platform. KotOR was xbox and PC; Oblivion is on the 360 and the PC, and will be on the PS3 as well; Fable is on the PC and the xbox; and heck, even Jade Empire is finally coming to the PC sometime soon-ish.

(That's not a note of which RPGs I think worth mentioning — that's a top-of-my-head list.)

I'm sure that this is a big ol' can o' worms to be opening, but what's the problem with a multiplatform release?*

* And if possible, what are the DEFINITE problems, and what are the POSSIBLE problems?** A bad port of a console game to the PC is POSSIBLE, but there have been good ports as well.

** Also note that I was an English major whose grade in the one programming class I took was the same letter as the language in which I was programming. I write. I design. I think of things in pen & paper terms and think of the computer as this awesome thing that lets me roll a whole lot of dice really quickly or do special effects or level descriptions that I as a storyteller couldn't do on m own. So feel free to dumb it down for me.
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December 7th, 2006, 21:37
One of the big issues with multiplatform releases are the interfaces. The menu systems often involve a lot more clicking back and forth than is needed if it was a PC game only.

Also, consoles have very limited controls(with only a few buttons), so it needs to be simplified compared to the controls of PC games. Hotkeys and similar features are very often dumbed down if the game is released on consoles.

The result is often a good game that could've been better, restricted by the simplicity of consoles. For certain types of games, such as sports games, shooters and so on, consoles are great, but for CRPGs which require a little more depth the console is not the optimal platform, and the games get a dumbed down feeling.

At least, that is my opinion. And welcome to the forums Patrick.
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December 7th, 2006, 22:05
I don't have any hang ups on consoles

However, I do agree that the controls used on the consoles are better suited for
say FPS, sports games and various shooter type games and such.

I'm also a realist when it comes to designing games and such i.e. the cost of
making is today very high, so to me it is understandable that game developers
and publishers release games on various platforms to earn more money in order
to cover the money nspent on developing the games. (more releases on more platforms means more money).

I don't really understand the 'dumbed down' issue (for the console kiddies).
Great games can be played on the console as well, but as I've stated (before),
consoles might not be the correct platform for rpgs.
Last edited by aries100; December 7th, 2006 at 22:05. Reason: spell checking
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December 8th, 2006, 00:47
Originally Posted by PatrickWeekes View Post
Dumb developer question: why not?
Because the apes on RPG fan sites compete for status by bragging about their rarefied tastes and loudly hating popular games. They particularly disdain console gamers and the "dumb downed" games they play. You can't sneer at and look down on yourself, so a hardcore oldskool RPG fan can only like a console port so much. If Bioware wants to pursue that market, for whatever reason, then it needs to stick with the PC. Oh, and to try not to sell too many copies.
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December 8th, 2006, 01:02
Not just GUI or interface problems, also accessibility problems. If a game is going to be released on the console, and do well, you need to make it accessible to console fans. If you want to expand your target market beyond PC-RPG fans you need your game to appeal to them. So we end up with an emphasis on fancy graphics and game play elements get cut. Character generation is streamlined (dumbed-down) or removed completely. Combat becomes an action click fest, thinking is removed, the numbers mean nothing, consequence for actions is removed (because thinking and hot action don’t go hand and hand), etc. Also, linearity is increased because you don’t want the player to miss out on anything the first time through, and if you are going to spend eight billion dollars on that one model you want the player to see it.

A specific problem relating to Kotor and Jade Empire on the x-box was the areas had to be significantly decreased in size. I like this, but that was a big complaint I saw. Big areas kind of give me a headache since I have OCD when it comes to clearing every last inch of each map.

Answer this: if BG 1 and 2 were made for both console and PC, how different would the games have been?

Someone, somewhere, has a great signature quote about the PC being for intellectuals. And there was a great article from some dev about the differences between PC and console; consoles being a sit-back experience, and PC gaming being a sit-up experience (or something to that effect).

For me, personally, I’m looking for the next game that is going to test my abilities (not my twitch, button clicking abilities), and I know a console game won’t do that. I want to get slaughtered until I finally get that perfect strategy and I get a little lucky and win the encounter. For instance, I’m replaying Wiz* with a mod that added a very tough battle in Arnika. A house full of Mook betrayers. It took me about 20 retries to finally win. That’s what I’m looking for. I had to reload while playing Kotor once, on difficult. The only levels in Jade Empire that gave me a problem were the last guy (I reload twice) and the flying mini-game (I reload 700 times to get to the cloud god place). Other than that, the games on console aren’t made to provide a challenge, just entertainment (and Bio makes very entertaining games, just very unchallenging games).
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December 8th, 2006, 02:42
Most of the original complaints about Oblivion related to its 'consoleness' and most of the first mods created, were designed to eliminate as much of that as possible!! A game needs to be totally designed for the PC exclusively, and only THEN adapted for console play!! At least if it's console first and then ported, people KNOW what to expect before they buy!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 8th, 2006, 04:26
1. I could write a loooooong article on how bad the KotOR interface was for the PC. If BioWare has to force a console interface onto the PC when developing for the biggest franchise in existence (in other words, quality developer with a quality property), why would anyone have faith other projects would spend the resources to do better.

2. This one is a little harder…KotOR was streamlined in a number of areas. Only three starting character classes, only three active feats at any one time… Is that directly the fault of consoles? No. But it is a side effect of chasing a bigger market that wants to kick back on the couch and cruise through a cool (but not too nerdy) Star Wars experience. We're anachronisms…most of us know that…but sometimes the disappointment that the depth we love is fading to please bigger casual audiences gets misplaced.

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