Dragon Age III: Inqusition Editorials

09 Oct 2012

We have rounded up a couple of write-ups centered around the recently-announced Dragon Age threequel, which should hopefully tide you over while waiting for concrete information on the title.

First, The Koalition explains why they don't have hope for the title:
Bioware’s writers which includes the awesome David Gaider gave us a truly epic tale with an unlimited amount of depth when they created Dragon Age: Origins. The main plot saw us take part on an epic journey to vanquish the Darkspawn and slay the Archdemon – the build up to the end was so engrossing that it became immediately obvious that this would be a hard game to top.

Dragon Age 2 proved us all correct, with the story instead focusing on some of the additional themes that the first game presented instead of being a full blown follow up. The way Dragon Age: Origins ended left us with so many questions that we all felt the urge to troll Bioware on their community forum after finding out the sequel would answer none of them.

From what we know so far about Dragon Age III: Inquisition there seems to be a number of ways that Bioware can spin the story back in the direction we desire. But will they? The fact that they swayed the story in the second game leads me to believe they’ll have to account for those events specifically in the next game, more-so than the first game. I highly doubt whether Bioware will neglect to fall back on the events of Kirkwall, seeing as DA2 likely sold more than Origins did. Also, judging by how Mass Effect 3 turned out we can’t be too optimistic.

Secondly, while it's not exactly an editorial, Dragon Age: Origins lead designer Brent Knowles muses on what BioWare might have learned from Dragon Age II's reception:
Now, before I get into things I should note that I don’t know anything at all about Dragon Age 3, so I can only comment on what I’ve read online. Specificallly, Mark Darrah’s post, announcing the game.

I think it is clear from how this post has been written that BioWare has learned that they need to be more upfront on who is working on their titles, to help mitigate the idea that BioWare has lost all its original staff. Mark makes it clear that he is a gamer and that he has loads of experience with traditional gaming. Mark was with BioWare from the beginning, well before I started. In fact the first office I shared was with Mark and he helped train me (even though he was in the programming dept and I was in design, there was a lot of overlap in the early days)*.

So, rebuilding some connections, between the developers and the fans is important and BioWare knows it and they show it with this post. And, of course, I’m hardly the only outsider to notice the specific wording of the post (i.e., check out Erik Kain’s observations on the announcement).

I don’t believe this announcement is just lip service, to placate the fans. Everybody working at BioWare wants to make great games. The problem is that the definition of great varies vastly, not just among the fans who will play the game but even within the studio. There’s a constant push and pull, a tug of war between this idea or that idea. Clearly there has been acknowledgement from BioWare over the past few months that they may have been pulled too far in one direction.

This realignment won’t be easy. It also has to be recognized that Dragon Age 2 sold well (and given its hurried development, probably was not an expensive game to make when compared with the first; hence it was probably more profitable) and many gamers enjoyed it. There may in fact now be two fairly differing audiences that will have be served. Doing this in a single title is incredibly difficult and I don’t envy them the challenge.
 
 

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