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Default Dragon Age 2 - Dev Diary: The Story

January 11th, 2011, 15:31
There's a new Dragon Age 2 video dev diary at GameSpot with Mike Laidlaw, Mark Darrah, David Gaider and Jennifer Hepler describing the story and why they chose the "framed narrative". There are plenty of in-game snippets in the background, although you won't get much of a sense for the game beyond sarcastic one-liners.
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January 11th, 2011, 15:31
What really irks me about "new" Bioware is amount of lies they are throwing in their preview videos.

Here they talk about their "framed narrative" (another character telling the story that you play) and how it is hard to do. And how its one of the first games that use this story telling.

When just this year Alpha Protocol uses very same framed narrative , and Drakensang River of Time as well.

Its two major RPGs this year only.
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January 11th, 2011, 20:30
Originally Posted by Twotricks View Post
What really irks me about "new" Bioware is amount of lies they are throwing in their preview videos.

Here they talk about their "framed narrative" (another character telling the story that you play) and how it is hard to do. And how its one of the first games that use this story telling.

When just this year Alpha Protocol uses very same framed narrative , and Drakensang River of Time as well.

Its two major RPGs this year only.
I haven't played yet AP but played a significant part of RoT and I'd say that this point is very anecdotal in RoT apart in the very beginning, that point really disappointed me, seeing start it well and not really exploited later.

So at least for RoT, your accusation of lying is quite fallacious, I'm even tempted that you are the liar in this case.

EDIT:
That said I do agree that since some time, Bioware teams seem try relatively recent concurrent games to pick the best idea and reuse them or develop them. For me it's positive because I can't count the number of time I complained with poor design just because the team tried make some doubtful inovation or haven't quote the good relatively recent design evolution/idea.
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January 11th, 2011, 23:41
Originally Posted by Twotricks View Post
What really irks me about "new" Bioware is amount of lies they are throwing in their preview videos.

Here they talk about their "framed narrative" (another character telling the story that you play) and how it is hard to do. And how its one of the first games that use this story telling.

When just this year Alpha Protocol uses very same framed narrative , and Drakensang River of Time as well.

Its two major RPGs this year only.
I suspect you're being a bit quick to jump to "lier!!". I've only just started D:TRoT so I can't comment on that but Alpha Protocol certainly doesn't jump back and forth in time, going from the present narrator and then going back in time to "replay the truth". Where and how does that happen in AP?

They clearly say framed narratives have "been used for hundreds of years" and Laidlaw's comment of "I think this may be the first truly interactive framed narrative" might be hyperbole but calling him an outright lier is a bit much.

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January 12th, 2011, 00:25
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I suspect you're being a bit quick to jump to "lier!!". I've only just started D:TRoT so I can't comment on that but Alpha Protocol certainly doesn't jump back and forth in time, going from the present narrator and then going back in time to "replay the truth". Where and how does that happen in AP?

They clearly say framed narratives have "been used for hundreds of years" and Laidlaw's comment of "I think this may be the first truly interactive framed narrative" might be hyperbole but calling him an outright lier is a bit much.
Liar was not the right word i agree. Misrepresenting the truth in order to advertise the game. Is perhaps more suitable

But you sir only just started DtROT and never played Alpha Protocol.

Dont you know that DtROT uses framed narrative at beggining of every chapter. Even when you die.You hear narrator (the dwarf) saying "No! Thats not how it happened"

And Alpha Protocol. Not only that the whole game is actually retelling of the events in the interrogation room. But you can even lie and bluff and so affect what happens in the now that is actually past. I assure you much more complex than anything "new" Bioware will cook up.

Yet. They call their game "maybe the first to use it" although two big RPGs that use same storytelling technique came out in last 6 month
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January 12th, 2011, 01:07
I'm quite sure Dhruin indeed played Alpha Protocol. I recall him being quite outspoken on how much he enjoyed it.
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January 12th, 2011, 01:13
I've played Alpha Protocol quite extensively. It's a framed narrative, yes, but it doesn't jump back and forth and present alternative views of the past as you play the game along. It isn't the same thing. It may well be far more complex than anything BioWare does — that isn't the question at hand, is it?

As for D:TRoT, it's pretty hard to know what happens at the beginning of every chapter when you just started - and I haven't died yet. It may well be exactly the same as DA2 but I'd be surprised. I'm surprised the forums haven't buzzed with the all the choices and the excellent framed narrative, if that's the case.

I'm not here to defend to BioWare but I get tired of gamers complaining about marketing hyperbole (! is there any other kind?) by adding their own exaggeration heaped on top.

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Last edited by Dhruin; January 12th, 2011 at 02:03. Reason: Sp!
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January 12th, 2011, 09:49
Every episode (lets call it so) in AP your dialogue with Leland changes based on your choices and actions during the mission. And even your answers can effect some decisions backwards. I think its safe to say its framed narrative in its very dynamic form.

A game made by Obsidian that works with Bioware often. And yet here they kind of forget they made "framed narrative" game the very same year. It kind of slips their mind.

Anyway enough of this discussion. Ever since BW went with EA they started this preposterous bragging - i can not remember other examples right now , but you know what i am saying.

Thats all i wanted to say
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January 12th, 2011, 11:01
Everyone clam down now. You heard bioware say they could of made DA2 the same as the first but what is the point. There all about evolution according to Mike Laidlaw and David Gaider. I smell bullshit in the pr videos if you call there games evolution. I'm glad to see some people enjoyed Alpha Protocol.

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January 12th, 2011, 11:17
I'm seeing DA2 as a little different because I thought you sometimes play parts twice - once as the "flashback" and again as the "real" thing, hence why I see if differently. If I've misunderstood how it works, I might be just plain wrong and Alpha Protocol might be closer than I think.

Anyway, without dragging out the subject, are you sure BioWare has really changed? I remember years ago there was an end of year feature somewhere (can't remember the site) and different developers were asked their favourite game that year. Everyone nominated something different but Ray Muzyka nominated Jade Empire. Ever since that, I've noticed how the Biodocs are master marketers and I'm not sure it's any different now..

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January 12th, 2011, 11:21
Well, I don't think there's any denying that Bioware innovated in terms of making movies out of games.

Sort of what happened in the early 90s, when FMV was introduced to traditional games. Some of that worked pretty well, actually, but did gaming truly benefit?

In terms of actual gameplay, though, I'd like to claim they've taken the genre quite a bit backwards. They keep stripping away the intricate mechanics and streamlining the games into "experiences."

So, I suppose it depends on what you want from your game.

From where I'm sitting, they haven't innovated enough to compensate for the devolution of gameplay.
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January 12th, 2011, 14:47
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
In terms of actual gameplay, though, I'd like to claim they've taken the genre quite a bit backwards. They keep stripping away the intricate mechanics and streamlining the games into "experiences."
It`s true and this is why I never liked them (although admittedly I enjoyed all of their games up to ME). As a GoldBox worshipper, I was dismayed when I learned the AD&D revival was to be in real time. Wasn`t the only one, but they steamrolled the opposition with hype.

As for assorted "interviews" - they`re nothing but PR and should be read as that. Also, don`t you find it slightly tiresome, having a "reveal" (ugh, that word ) every other god damn day? I mean, by the time they release it you will know about just everything about the game…what happened to some mystery/anticipation?
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January 12th, 2011, 15:02
Originally Posted by zadokAllen View Post
It`s true and this is why I never liked them (although admittedly I enjoyed all of their games up to ME). As a GoldBox worshipper, I was dismayed when I learned the AD&D revival was to be in real time. Wasn`t the only one, but they steamrolled the opposition with hype.

As for assorted "interviews" - they`re nothing but PR and should be read as that. Also, don`t you find it slightly tiresome, having a "reveal" (ugh, that word ) every other god damn day? I mean, by the time they release it you will know about just everything about the game…what happened to some mystery/anticipation?
Mystery = less profit.

I don't mind real-time combat when it makes sense, and multiplayer is one of the best reasons to have it. I've played RPGs that had fantastic real-time combat and I've played RPGs that had fantastic turn-based combat. It's more about implementation. Generally, I prefer real-time in single-character RPGs - and especially when it's multiplayer. I have a hard time appreciating real-time combat in party-based games, but it can work quite well. Baldur's Gate worked ok, and Dragon Age had good combat.

At Bioware, they clearly have a vision of a huge audience - and in that way, I think they're doing the right thing for themselves.

But I'm not going to pretend that I like it, and support it. I have my preferences and Bioware clearly have no intention of making games that fit them. That's ok, I'm not entitled to anything.

I'm entitled to lament it, though
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