|Dragon Age Official Forum Highlights & Comments For select forum posts by the game developers collected from the official Dragon Age forums, as well as comments on them. All the news items posted here also appear on the DA official forum news page of Sorcerer's Place.|
|Mon, 30th Aug '04, 1:08pm||#1|
Here are today's Dragon Age forum highlights, collected by NWVault. Please take into account that these are only single parts of various threads and should not be taken out of context. Bear in mind also that the posts presented here are copied as-is, and that any bad spelling and grammar does not get corrected on our end.
David Gaider, Designer
alignments? equal play and storyline for evil
A 50% shorter campaign is a big price to pay... but I'm just wondering if you ever weighed the option of having an evil path similar to a good or neutral path, but having them diverge at key points in the story, particularly the end?
That sounds like KotOR, so yes.
So long as the same area art is being used, in DA we're certainly willing to put in some extra work to have paths where completely different things happen, and some of them could certainly be considered evil.
I just finished work on one particular plot where you have a few paths through that are quite expected and then one that is not only horrifically evil but quite unexpected (from us, anyhow, I think). Just as an example.
Quote: And on a [slightly] related topic, will choosing a different backstory (like an evil one) change the characters introduction into the campaign in any way, or effect the story in any way (like a different nemesis for different characters?).
Yes, that's exactly what they do. Each backstory starts the game off in a completely divergent manner (and yes, that does make them very expensive... that's why it's a feature). There are, however, no "evil" backgrounds just as there are no "good" ones.
Georg Zoeller, Designer
alignments? equal play and storyline for evil
Roleplaying good or Roleplaying evil is kind of meaningless in singleplayer games.
Starting to get tired...
For us, the only meaningful thing for good and evil options is our campaign where the player is presented choises (visible or not) to define his alignment within a spectrum of possible options and receive different reactions, outcomes or even endings. How people react to each other in multiplayer games is not of our concern, if they are roleplayers they will work things out with each others, if they are powergamers, they probably don't really care.
DA is not an MMORPG, it will not be and MMORPG and it will not officially support the creation of Persistent Worlds. Design decisions are made in order to create a game with a singleplayer, multiplayer campaign and toolset, but no special attention will be given to PW aspects. i.e. it is unlikely that we would write some kind of global policing system that would care about players killing other players and hunt them down with NPC guards, as DA is not this kind of game.
So continuing to post into every second thread about how you would like to have DA to have MMORPG like quality or praising MMORPGs won't really help, we are not going to shift our design focus at this point in the project.
Just to let you know: I've played my share of Muds, BBS Doorgames and MMORPGs over the last 15 years, from Legend of the Red Dragon to Merian59, UO, DAoC, Everquest to City of Heroes and I found many of them quite enjoyable and a lot of people in the office here play or have been playing MMORPGs quite a bit - we don't hate them or something, they are just not the kind of game we want to do at them moment and the design vision for DA is much closer to something like Baldur's gate than to any MMORPG.
Does Bioware look at Competition
When someone mentions MMORPG, I tend to think of levelling just to see the number next to your name get higher.
Let me put it this way. Whenever MMORPG is mentioned, the things that don't jump to my mind are
- strong story / campaign
- memorable NPCS
and there are good reasons for why this is so.
accidentally that's what our core audience expects from a BioWare game first and foremost, especially when we classify it as "spiritual successor to BG and NWN".
People would be quite pissed if they got a "medieval life simulator" or "chop wood in the land of dragons game" or whatever in their Dragon Age box.
There are things you can learn from MMORPGs, i.e. in areasa of interface design or client server architecture, but for creating a memorable singleplayer campaign, they don't offer a lot of insight.
From ambient simulation/animation (compare ultima VII to UO, don't even get started on EQ and DAoC) to creature AI (err, what AI - a server that has to handle thousands of "mobs" and players doesn't have spare time for anything called AI) to memorable NPCS to Combat Animation/Coreography (Hmm, why does it hit the air and I get damage) to storyline - all topics that are important for a memorable singleplayer game and MMORPGs are the best example on what not to do. Not because they bad, but because they have a different design focus and thus are created differently from the scratch.
In City of Heroes you see the same scene all over the city ... evil guys harrassing a poor old woman. My first reaction was "hey, look, mobs are not just standing around like in all the other games, they do stuff, so it works great for an MMORPG. If I would come accross the same scene in a singleplayer, story driven game at every corner (evil thieves beating up old woman), the third time I find it you would go "man, that's so lame!!".
There were complaints about the little head variation on NPCs in KotOR ... you would never get these complaints in an MMORPG - think DAoC, the same monsters you fight in level 1 you can fight in level 20, just a bit scaled up.
Short and back to topic: MMORPGs are not really the place you would look for inspiration for a game like DA.