Where the First Mass Effect Failed and Succeeded

Kotaku has slapped up an article-style interview with former Mass Effect head writer Drew Karpyshyn about the early days of BioWare's sci-fi RPG franchise, how many of the ideas were hammered out as the series came into its own, how schedules, budgets, and deadlines affected some of the ideas they had for the games, and more. The usual sampling:
For me as a player, the sequence on Virmire where Normandy crew members clashed over what to do with research that could revive the Krogan race was a great example of that moment. Karpyshyn said that it was also one of the hardest moments to map out from a technical perspective. (The Ashley/Kaidan choice sort of affects what comes down the road. It's going to completely change how the rest of the game plays out, because one of your primary characters is no longer there. That's sort of a technical reason. There are some players who really struggle with that choice. I remember hearing from some players who said they literally sat the controller down and went to have a smoke or have a snack or something, and think about it.)

(I thought that was just going to be a great moment,) Karpyshyn continues, (especially in the second or third game, when you're playing and a consequence plays out and you're like, '˜Oh my God, I totally want the other decision. Do I want to go back and replay this whole series just to change that?')

But a series as big as Mass Effect can't deliver on everything its creators wanted. I mentioned to Karpyshyn that the Rachni plotline didn't go where I was expecting. They're this vast marauding race, but are organic, not mechanical like the Reapers. It seems like a face off between those two races in the third game would hinge on what you did in the first game. (The Rachni choice is something we really wanted to have massive repercussions down the road. Unfortunately, the realities of working in the industry schedules and budgets and deadlines mean that we can't do everything we want to do.)

(I will say one of the ways we tried to offset that was with the inclusion of the Geths and the Geth party member that came in Mass Effect 2, was Legion," he continued. "He was never originally planned and the Geth were going to be sort of pushed to the side. But people really responded to them. We wanted to explore the Geths and that was one of the tradeoffs of not doing more with the Rachni.)