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Default BioWare - Interview @ Gamesindustry.biz

July 6th, 2009, 18:49
Gamesindustry.biz has posted a Q & A session with Bioware's Dr. Ray Muzyka and creative director Greg Zeschuk, focusing primarily on hardware innovations such as Microsoft's proposed controller-free system for the XBox 360 known as Project Natal, but also touching on narrative, setting and story and how they may play out in Bioware's future games:
Q:You are very much a story-driven company as far as your creative output. But your output is also – correct me if I'm wrong – almost entirely sci-fi and fantasy. Is it too soon to have more contemporary stories in games?
Ray Muzyka: No. We're interested in a variety of settings. We've already pursued a few different ones too. Jade Empire was very different for example from Mass Effect or Dragon Age. We are interested in contemporary settings. We haven't announced anything on that front, but it's safe to say that we think it's rich with possibility as well.
Q: I guess what I'm getting at is, when do we get to the point where there's for example a romantic, story-driven game on a sort of AAA scale?
Greg Zeschuk: The romantic comedy in game form?
Q: Yes, exactly.
Greg Zeschuk: That's a great question. I think we're actually getting to the point where the acting is almost there. We talk a certain amount internally about whether you need to have combat as part of the experience. Are there possibilities to actually start separating pieces of the game and actually tailor it to the audience? Certainly the core gaming experience, folks that are used to playing games over the last ten years, they want to have those battle moments, and the fighting. But there are different audiences that would maybe just enjoy the story. I think it's actually possible. I think the interesting thing about it too is I don't know if it's even necessarily a technology thing. I think once we've got the breadth of audience available to us, there could be really good opportunities created by different people coming to games that are story-driven. And primarily, that's the main thing.
More information.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; July 6th, 2009 at 20:07. Reason: fixed weird punctuation notation
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July 6th, 2009, 18:49
Is Greg saying what I think he is saying? Is Bioware considering going the adventure game way? It could certainly be interpreted that way, especially if you
look at this statement from Greg Zeschuk:

"But there are different audiences that would maybe just enjoy the story."

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July 6th, 2009, 20:02
I liked this part, because it's the kind of smart idea that can easily be discussed in an interview but never on a Web forum:

…and then there's the internal narrative of the story arch being created and kind of evolving over time, both on the player's user-generated content and the way they make choices and their impact on the world, but also the developers actually create a story arch that has some kind of purpose or overarching goal to it. So you can look at it almost like an onion with multiple layers of narrative….
It would be cool if someone started thinking along similar lines for single-player RPG. For a long time I've thought a game world could be conceived and built like an "onion with multiple layers of narrative," by designing it modularly and redundantly with pieces that were added and removed in correspondence with player choices made at various intervals throughout the game.

But I wouldn't limit the variety to to just changes in narrative. Take that idea even further, and almost everything could be subject to change. Since only a single iteration (or version) could ever be played at a time, each playthrough would be unique. It reminds me of Lego.

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July 6th, 2009, 21:36
I don't think they are going to do adventure games since their answer for that question seemed more of a general statement and not about themselves.
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July 7th, 2009, 10:19
@Squeek: I agree. It would be very complex, though.

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July 7th, 2009, 12:46
Originally Posted by Greg Zeschuk
But there are different audiences that would maybe just enjoy the story.
Yes, they're called "moviegoers". There's a similar audience called "readers", although they don't require the audio/visual component. And finally there's "gamers", but I believe Bioware stopped catering for that segment quite a few years back.
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July 7th, 2009, 13:30
Originally Posted by Cassius View Post
Yes, they're called "moviegoers". There's a similar audience called "readers", although they don't require the audio/visual component. And finally there's "gamers", but I believe Bioware stopped catering for that segment quite a few years back.
That's correct
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July 7th, 2009, 19:22
Originally Posted by Greg Zeshuk View Post
I think we're actually getting to the point where the acting is almost there.
Quoted for hilarity.
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July 7th, 2009, 20:11
Originally Posted by Cassius View Post
Yes, they're called "moviegoers". There's a similar audience called "readers", although they don't require the audio/visual component. And finally there's "gamers", but I believe Bioware stopped catering for that segment quite a few years back.
No, I',m sorry, they are not…

They are called 'adventure gamers' - like me.

Most adventure gamers, or some of them, enjoy a great adventure game for its story, for its characters and the character interaction in the game. Personally, I would love Bioware to make an adventure game that has maybe 3-4 different endings, depending on what dialgue choices you took during the game.

I play Bioware games for the story, the characters and the interaction, not for the gameplay; other people do that; it is their choice and I'm fine with this

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July 20th, 2009, 15:21
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
No, I',m sorry, they are not…

They are called 'adventure gamers' - like me.

Most adventure gamers, or some of them, enjoy a great adventure game for its story, for its characters and the character interaction in the game. Personally, I would love Bioware to make an adventure game that has maybe 3-4 different endings, depending on what dialgue choices you took during the game.
Well, you're in luck because Bioware only makes action/adventure games these days. And I've no problem with adventures games. It's a good genre; it's just not my genre. On the other hand, I'm bang out of luck because I like RPGs and very few people seem to be making them anymore. Such is life.
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July 21st, 2009, 03:17
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
No, I',m sorry, they are not…

They are called 'adventure gamers' - like me.

Most adventure gamers, or some of them, enjoy a great adventure game for its story, for its characters and the character interaction in the game. Personally, I would love Bioware to make an adventure game that has maybe 3-4 different endings, depending on what dialgue choices you took during the game.

I play Bioware games for the story, the characters and the interaction, not for the gameplay; other people do that; it is their choice and I'm fine with this
I dunno … I've been playing loads of adventure games in the last few years, and without some mind-working puzzles I would have gotten bored uncovering a story that would have taken less than 100 pages of text.

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July 21st, 2009, 13:36
Bioware games are mostly interactive movies these days.

Traditionally, adventure games have elements of challenge and integrated puzzles.
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