Posting again, because I just found a [url="http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jrmmdkrep/MISC/mefaq.html"]wannabe FAQ.[/url]
I will post the entire thing, here, for ease of viewing.
1.What is the release date ?
Chris Priestly: "We do not yet have a set release date, but we anticiapte that the game will be released in approximately (and this could always change) 12-18 months."
2.Which engine is using Mass Effect ? Is it Unreal 3 ?
Chris Priestly: "Well, tools have been added to the existing engine and we've made some modifications and extensions for Mass Effect. But basically, yes."
3.Is the story going to be lineary ? How much freedom will we have ?
Bob McCabe: "There is, of course, a well-developed story that the player will go through. And there will be choices along the way, just like Neverwinter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic.
The goal is, as always, to provide some freedom, but really, we want to tell a good story that people can get immersed into - and allow those players to affect the story in their own way, as much as we can.
But, even better, there are going to be locations to discover that aren't directly tied in with the story; these will allow you a diversion of sorts, when appropriate. Imagine picking up a strange signal from a nearby planet that was thought to be devoid of life."
It's something we haven't really done since the Baldur's Gate days. We'll see how it goes."
Bob McCabe: "Think KotOR and JE and Neverwinter Nights - but with branching to other, uncharted planets.
Personally, I think it may end up playing out something *like* Grand Theft Auto or maybe Baldur's Gate, and what I mean by that is that when you're on a plot you'll be focused on that. But between plots, you can either jump right back to the next part of the story or wander around for a while and see what you can find.
Everything can be tweaked, and any suggestions you have we'd love to hear. I think the part we're trying to emphasize, though, is that we really want to push for more exploration, for those who want it, and we want to ensure that there is still the usually tight story for those who don't want to get distracted - and, of course, freedom of movement within the story, for what is a BioWare RPG without choices?"
4.Is Mass Effect linked to Star Citadel ?
Chris Priestly: "It is the same thing. Star Citadel was an early concept name that was discarded in favor for the (IMO) much cooler Mass Effect."
5.Which system rules is Mass effect using ?
Chris Priestly: Mass Effect does have a system of how the game will work, but there are no plans currently to reveal what that system is."
6.Is Bioware going to make use of the Xbox Live! for Mass Effect ?
Chris Priestly: "Just to clarify, Mass Effect is a single player title.
I can't release all of our Xbox live plans yet (stay tuned for future updates as the game nears completion), but I can hint at things like ubiquitous voice support and achievemnts that can be acquired by players.
Lots of cools Xbox live plans in the works. Stay tuned."
See also Questions 16-18 for further informations.
7. Is the combat aspect going to be approachable for the less-than-average action gamer ?
Bob McCabe: "We want combat to have depth and challenge and excitement, of course - but at the root level it has to be approachable. And we're working very hard to make sure combat is as simple to understand and interact with as it can be."
8. Which BioTeam is working on Mass Effect ?
Chris Priestly: "For the most part, teh Mass Effect Team is the team that worked on KotOR. Casey Hudson is the Producer with Leads like Preston Watamaniuk, David Falkner, Scott Langevin, Derek Watts and many many more team members."
9. On which plateform Mass Effect is going to be released ?
Chris Priestly: "Mass Effect is an Xbox 360 exclusive title."
Derek French: "Anyhoo, Mass Effect is an Xbox 360 title, with NO plans to bring it to the PC."
10. Is the universe of Mass Effect standing into a parallel one or is it seen as our direct future ?
Chris Priestly: "this all relates directly to the story, and telling of story stuff is not something we're going to be doing yet."
11.Can you create your own character or are you playing a pre-made one ?
Bob McCabe: "Yes, you get to create your own character. And yes, the process will be better than any of our past titles - at least, by my criteria. And yes, you will get to customize your character as you continue playing through the game. And when I say "create and customize" - the look of your character is definitely a part of that concept."
12.Is Mass Effect going to be the first chapter of a new saga ?
Bob McCabe: "I don't remember us ever really going into a game actually thinking of the story this far in advance. I mean, we're usually saying "We'd like to make a sequel, if someone will let us!" And here we're looking at making a trilogy! It really does open up a lot of potential for, as you put it, subtle suggestions that will take place later in the series. Whee!"
13.To which genre Mass Effect's universe does belong ?
Bob McCabe: "Well, when I asked Casey about this he kept saying "Epic Sci-Fi with an immersive storyline set in an incredible science-fiction galaxy. And then he'd go on about inspirations for the game like teh Design styles of Sid Mead or movies like Blade Runner and Alien."
14.And what about horses and z-axis ?
Jay Watamaniuk: "That's SPACE horses and SPACE Z-axis to you mister...and I have no idea."
15. Can you play as a female?
Bob McCabe: "Shenanigans aside (thanks Jon! ), "dawn" is a female's name, so "dawn of a new era" would imply that you can be a female - which you can."
Jay Watamaniuk: "Yup you can choose to play a female. I haven't had a chance to take a look at how much you can customize your character but I'm willing to bet that choosing gender is one of the first steps."
16. Is Mass Effect a single-player only game ?
Jarrett Lee: "Actually, the decision has not been 100% finalized as to whether Mass Effect will be single-player-only or not. It remains to be determined."
17.Will you have a spaceship ?
Bob McCabe : "Well, it was through the discovery of space travel that humans were able to first introduce themselves to the galactic community. As well, you will have the option to explore a large number of planets as you move through the game. So yeah, I think it's safe to say that you'll likely obtain some space craft pr vehicles to travel around with, and it's likely that these vehicles will have armor and weaponry."
See question 24 for more information on space travel.
18.Is there going to be episodic content delivered by the Xbox Live ?
IGN : "In another interesting tack, Mass Effect is the first game in a trilogy, which, BioWare says, will cover the lifespan of the Xbox 360's five-plus year cycle. When you finish the first game, BioWare plans to upload content in between games in an episodic fashion, filling in the story between games. Thus, when the second big title arrives, fans who stick with the downloads will know exactly what's going on."
Jarrett Lee: "One important thing I should clarify: fans who miss some of this episodic installments for any particular reason will not be negatively impacted in their enjoyment of the full-game sequels."
Jarrett Lee: "Bear in mind, exact details about how episodic content will be developed and delivered have certainly not been finalized."
19. Does ME will have different profiles for settings and save games ?
Bob McCabe : "Anyway, I'm also a big fan of the other kind of profiling, the kind Adria wasn't talking about. We pushed a little for it on Jade Empire, but I'll make sure we push really hard for it on Mass Effect."
20.And what about romances ?
Jay Watamaniuk: "I have a good friend who is wild about the romance plots in BioWare games and she has been assured that there will be fine, fine romance plots in Mass Effect. I would find it very surprising if BioWare produced an RPG that did not have a great deal of time spent developing relationships between characters. It seems fundamental to great stories."
21.Why on Earth did you choose to make this game on xbox 360 and not on my [insert your favorite plateform here] ?
Bob McCabe: "We chose 360 because we have a really great relationship with Microsoft and find that they're constantly pushing us to develop the best products we're capable of.
They're very supportive and really seem to care more about the final product than the dollars. I know they're a business (like us) and want to make money, but they seem willing to push a lot of that aside, at least in their dealings with us, to help us put out our vision of the game. It's really a great situation.
Plus, we've worked with them before and have built up a nice rapport.
And then there's the fact that they've kept us up-to-date with their vision for the 360 since the beginning, and they've supplied us with alpha versions and beta versions of their console along the way. It's really helped us learn the intricacies of the unit, and feel ready to bring our game to their system."
Bob McCabe: "We picked Xbox 360 because we have past, positive history with Microsoft (I mentioned this in another thread) and their console is fine for developing the kind of game that we want to develop. Maybe the 360 can do 14 terror-flips and maybe Sony can say gig-a-what 18 times in 22 seconds. Either way, I'm sure they've both got really nice personalities and can get a date for this weekend."
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