|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.|
|Fri, 20th Jul '07, 2:46pm||#1|
Here are today's Dragon Age forum highlights, taken from the Dragon Age Official Forum. 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, Lead Writer
If you could write a background ..................
While some of these are interesting suggestions, if you're putting it in terms of writing an origin for DA you have to be careful to restrict yourself to what the player character is or what they have done without also dictating who they are or how they feel about these things.
Growing up rich and spoiled in a castle, for instance, says that the player character is rich and spoiled and in a conflict with their father. Why be that restrictive? Just say that the character grew up wealthy in a castle. Perhaps they crave to get out. Perhaps they secretly desire to usurp their father's throne and the adventure comes upon them unwelcome. Perhaps they love their father dearly and the conflict between them is in the past. Or perhaps they really are pampered and spoiled -- we simply think that players will be far more accepting of having their circumstances dictated to them then they would of having their character dictated in the same way.
How does Religion effect the world view two.
I would say, for starters, that there is a big difference between a religion and a school of philosophical thought. With philosophy, one can have some very radical ideas even in a more medieval-like setting, and it can even have a number of adherents -- but these are going to come from the ranks of the period's intellectuals. Religion is, more or less, for the masses.
That said, religion does not have to revolve around the existence of God or a Supreme Being per se. It just needs to answer certain fundamental questions about life and death. We do, in fact, have a God-less religion of sorts found amongst the dwarves in DA -- they practice a form of ancestor worship.
Generally speaking, however, this is not really a period where such a thing as atheism exists even within philosophical ranks. Looking back into our own medieval period, back then there was simply no questioning whether God existed or not. He did, and while one might refute Him that in itself was an acknowledgement of His existence. Similarly in DA while there might be different religions in the world, none of the cultures involved would condone atheism. It's not an idea that would even have a name at this point, probably (other than heresy, depending on who you talk to).
Remember that while in the Forgotten Realms where gods are self-evident and atheism would be tantamount to simply denial of reality, in a world where the existence of God (or Gods) cannot be proven that simply makes atheism and agnosticism possible... not necessarily acceptable.
There was an earlier civilization which was certainly more widespread, but I don't know if it was all that much more advanced. In some ways, perhaps, but in others definitely not. You're not going to find ruins with ancient artifacts that do things which cannot be replicated today -- all such art has not been lost. It's just that some things were done back then which are perhaps not so readily done today, if that makes sense.
And was there an earlier time when agnosticism, say, was more acceptable?
Will there be mini-games in DA?
I think mini-games can have their place, preferably as optional game elements. Sticking them on the critical path is not something I'm fond of. At all.
That said, there are no mini-games in DA that I can think of. Anywhere.
"Whining" doesn't bother us at all, really. At least there's interest, and we only wish we could provide you with what you want. But be patient. All will come in its own time, and in this case we're simply waiting until we both have something to show and can show enough to keep people interested until release.
But we do appreciate the interest, really. Eventually you will get what you want, poppets, oh yes.
And then you will hate us for it. But that is the way of the world.
The main issue here relates to the number of rendered models you can have on-screen without slowing things down. Those corpses may be lying still, but the computer still has to render them -- so if we're going to have some large-scale battles in DA (which we are) I imagine the amount of corpse persistence that you can have is pretty limited.
There are some spells that can affect corpses, however, so they're probably going to stick around for a little while at least. It's not like we're talking about them vanishing before they hit the ground.
I don't know what the plan is at present, and it will probably wait to be finalized until we can really test the limits of the engine with final art. Wherever it ends up, however, I'm pretty sure that there won't be a toggle involved.
I suspect that while admiring that horde of dead bodies around your character at the mighty rate of half a frame a second you might feel something other than evilness. Me, I'd be a bit annoyed.
Soon It's DA's Turn...
How do you get that? When Dragon Age was announced as E3 in 2004 it was only being worked on by a handful of people and was in the early concepting stage still. Full-scale production probably didn't start until later that year if not 2005. Considering that NWN took 5 years to develop, the development time shouldn't be all that surprising -- especially considering that it's a game with a new engine.
If there's anything that's remarkable it's the amount of time that Dragon Age has been public. We don't usually announce a game so early, but the reasons we did so have been mentioned before many times. Even so, please don't get confused about the amount of time that you've known about the game and the amount of time it's been in development.
Sorry, but a press release mentioning that we are working on an unnamed PC RPG is not the same as an announcement. When a game is announced we give its title and generally show something about it to the media. At that point in 2002, Dragon Age was more or less just a gleam in our eyes, practically speaking.
Of course what you're all basically saying is that, next time, we should keep any given title a secret until it's about ready to come out, lest you grow bored with the lack of constant updates and start writing the game off as vapourware. I suppose we'll have to take that into consideration next time.
As has already been pointed out, the sequel to NWN has already come out. Dragon Age is not NWN2, as we've said many times, nor did the NWN team just all go over to DA when they were done. Things don't work like that.
Certainly part of the decision was business-based, yes, but I'm not so sure the rest of it exactly follows unless your assumption is that the majority of our console sales for Jade Empire and KotOR came from our PC fans -- fans who, despite their outrage at us not developing another PC game were apparently okay with playing a console game anyhow?
Doesn't quite fit, but I suppose you can assume what you like. As I said, for the most part it was to assure those PC fans who don't play console games that there was, indeed, something new coming eventually for them as well. And there is.
You're probably right there. It was more like 4 years than 5, despite how often that gets thrown around. Huh. Weird how a span of time can seem like it's so much longer than it actually is.
Perhaps that's because of the vehemence that's involved when people try to throw this in our face. Why they do that, I'm not sure. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions about how we work, or how we should work, and then making accusations that we're... what? Lying? Falling to pieces and just afraid to admit it? A bunch of no-good incompetents working on vapourware? What? What are you trying to prove, exactly?
Bioware is a growing company and is handling multiple projects. The size of the DA team has varied a great deal -- when we say we're working on something, that can vary anywhere from one person working on concepting to a small group of programmers performing a demo to a whole team of 80 people.
All we've said is that we're working on the game -- yes, it is taking a while, but what does that mean, exactly? Does a game that takes less time make it better, necessarily? If we did take 7 years (God help me) to make a game, that would mean exactly... what?
It will come out, and we are working on it -- and when we start doing media for the game you will see all of it and then you can judge the end product all you like. I don't really know what more needs to be said than that.
Just two questions, that's all.
I do love me a good internet drama.
If anyone could point me in the direction of one, it'd be appreciated.
Topic seems legitimate enough. Paladins and druids have come up before on this forum, and the thread asks for your opinions. Do you like these classes? Not like them? Do you want to see them in DA? (You won't, of course, but that's never stopped anyone from requesting them.)
Or maybe you just want to tell us the story of that cool paladin character you had that successfully killed three fellow party members. That would be boring as all hell, but again -- that's never stopped anyone here, either.
So I don't see a problem with it. Paladins and druids. Discuss amongst yourselves. Someone bring coffee. And sedatives.
Mary Kirby, Writer
Men, Ships and Dragon Age
Do you mean this picture? (Which is concept art, actually, not a screenshot.) You need to get passage on a small boat to get across the lake to the tower. That's really the totality of your nautical experiences in Dragon Age, however, as the rest of the story is inland.
Creature SiZeS in Dragon Age
The dragons in TheDAS are not 300 feet long. Remember this picture? They're big, but they still, y'know, fit on the screen.
Could a creature that large fly? Does it really matter? It flies. Whether or not it could if it existed in the real world is beside the point. You're not going to be able to defeat one of these in game by explaining to it rationally that its heart doesn't have the capacity to pump blood all the way to its brain, or that its skeleton should not logically be able to withstand the forces exerted by its movements.
Why is it called Dragon Age if no one gets to see them ?
Why did they call it the Dark Age, when they clearly still had light?
Sheryl Chee, Writer
Ugh. Why would anyone want to watch that?
While I greatly enjoyed Pan's Labyrinth, I had to cover my eyes during one particularly brutal scene (you know which one I'm talking about). It left me quite disturbed and I still question whether it was absolutely necessary to have it be that graphic.
I certainly hope DA doesn't show too much gore, though I have very little influence over that sort of thing. I agree with Shayna -- LotR levels of violence are quite enough for me, thanks. It's still a heroic game, and disemboweling your enemies for the hell of it just doesn't strike me as being very heroic. If we get a "Mature" rating, I'd like it to be because of our themes, and not because of the blood spatter.
Brian Chung, Tree Artist
Creature SiZeS in Dragon Age
* Dragon crashes down on the knight.
Chris Priestly, Community Coordinator
Let's talk boxart
Far too early to know yet. Sorry.