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Default Dragon Age: Inquisition - Creating Party Members

August 24th, 2013, 00:28
Game Informer continues their DA: Inquisition coverage this month. This time they have a an interview article on how Bioware creates party members. The artists are involved from the start:

"We've found that if the writers forged on ahead and created these fully-fleshed characters that by the time it got the concept artist, the concept artist might be like, ‘No, [I] don't understand, and they'll be playing catch up the whole time,'" says lead writer David Gaider.
It can get tricky when too many people are involved:

"When too many of us make too many decisions about that character that are apparent…they can tend to get kind of sandblasted down; trying to make sure the characters are given their own identity physically and story-wise is critical." Rhodes points out how in the past, the main distinguishable parts of characters were the costume design and affectations.
A little backstory on Vivenne:

This came into play with the creation of Dragon Age: Inquisition party member Vivienne. This circle mage was in line to be first enchanter in the Circle of Oralis before the mages declared their independence and broke away from the Chantry. "That is a character who has a very specific view on the role of the circles and the Chantry," Kristjanson says. "As someone who is extremely pro-circle, what is left for that person when that entire system crumbles? [She's] going to want a very particular thing from the inquisition depending on the way you're headed that may or may not match with [your] Inquisitor."
More information.
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August 24th, 2013, 00:28
Perhaps the designers can't make a character that everybody is going to like, but single-minded characters tend not to be very likeable. I hope they are in the distinct minority.
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August 24th, 2013, 06:37
Their process sounds as bass-ackward as the "Marvel method" of comic book writing, especially the process as center around the nineties, where the artists dictated the stories to the writers.

While a good writer should of course be able to create a great character based on a pin-up or whatever, the artist should also be able to draw a great picture of a character described by a writer. That process is clearly not for quality characters nor story telling, but instead something likely to do with the game development cycle they have going on.
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