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Default BioWare - Dr Greg Zeschuk Interview @ Eurogamer

July 8th, 2009, 18:21
Dr Greg Zeschuk talks about Bioware's WIP games, and the recent merger with Mythic to make EA's MMO department.
Eurogamer: Dragon Age: Origins is looking like a fairly grim game, and Mass Effect 2 is quite a bit darker than the first one - is everyone at BioWare feeling alright?
Dr Greg Zeschuk: Well, we've been with EA for a while. No, it's a funny thing. I think that why they are that way is interesting. Certainly, in the case of Dragon Age, it was to set it off thematically from the traditional perception of fantasy. People have been asking us, "Why have you been doing these more aggressive sex-and-violence trailers?" and a lot of it is to point out that fantasy isn't necessarily - I'm stealing this from a journalist in the US - it's not all "flutes, lutes and men in tights".
I think that was one of the things holding fantasy back. Obviously, Peter Jackson managed to break through that with the Lord of the Rings, and for us it's been that we've made a game that's very sophisticated, so it seems natural to follow that with very mature content. Also, it's typically our teams that really set the tone. Ray [Muzyka - co-founder] and I have very high-level goals, but the teams work on the moment-to-moment game, so the work they do is what translates into the experience that fans have most directly.
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July 8th, 2009, 18:21
I think that was one of the things holding fantasy back.
Huh ? This sounds almost as if Fantasy *originally* consisted of darker tones, but thazt was "held back" by more lighter approaches in the past …

This sounds to me as if Fantasy is *originally* dark and grim …


Also interesting:

We prototype a lot of our games on the Neverwinter Nights engine,
And this one:

Eurogamer: Not if I'm playing it and I've got Asperger's, though. I'd have no idea why someone had just double-crossed me.

Dr Greg Zeschuk: "He just screwed me! What's going on?" Well, we could have special subtitles for Asperger's players.
Eurogamer: Will you be using Mythic's experience with MMOs on Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Dr Greg Zeschuk: Oh yeah, without a doubt.
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July 9th, 2009, 07:35
It would be very interesting if they actually started incorporating subtitles, or other solutions, for people with different problems. Short dialogue and short text is already in for the people who don't like to, or can't, concentrate more than a few seconds. From a fairness perspective this is certainly interesting. Should there be subtitles for the hearing impaired? Should there be simplified subtitles for less educated people, who know fewer words?
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July 9th, 2009, 18:34
-ehm-

Every Bioware game has subtitles; sometimes you'll just need to turn them ON through the options menu.

On a more on subject comment I'd say this:

I don't quite understand what Greg Z. is referring to when he's speaking of 'flutes, lutes and men in tights' in fantasy games ? Ultima games don't have these, neither does the Elderscroll games, even the games in the Baldur's Gate series do not have these either.

I understand the need for Bioware (and EA?) to set DA: Origins apart from the generic fantasy games, to make it not appear or seem like Lord of the Rings; from the comments on the CVG forum (and mybe Eurogamer's as well?) this strategy really hasn't worked well, hasn't it?

However, EA (and Bioware?) fails to understand that DA: Origins may only sell to the hardcore crowds, thus maybe only selling or shipping 500,000 to 750,000 copies or SKUs as games for some reasons are called today….

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July 10th, 2009, 04:56
Anything that needs to be tracked at retail is a "sku" - Stock Keeping Unit. From a broad retail perspective, it doesn't matter whether the product is a game, a dress or a coupon - they're all a unit that needs to be tracked.

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July 10th, 2009, 09:28
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
However, EA (and Bioware?) fails to understand that DA: Origins may only sell to the hardcore crowds, thus maybe only selling or shipping 500,000 to 750,000 copies or SKUs as games for some reasons are called today….
Worldwide? You have any facts or relevant data to back that up or is it just a guess?

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July 10th, 2009, 12:17
It hasn't shipped yet…how could it be anything other than a guess?

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