Dragon Age Series Interview

Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider has been interviewed by community member "swooping_is_bad" during the recent Thedas UK Con in Leicestershire, England, about the plot devices he helped integrate in Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, the possibility of a Dragon Age III and IV, their plans for more romantic options as the series progresses, and more.
TUK: Actually that leads back to a similar question. Is this intended to be a series of three games or do you think it will keep going after the next one, and there may be a Dragon Age 4 eventually?

DG: That's difficult to say. Unlike Mass Effect, we didn't set out to make a trilogy. There's a point I think at which trying to import saved data and keeping things consistent becomes a little problematic. A lot of fans expect that every single decision be treated as sacrosanct, and it's very hard to do that and make a coherent plot. Some of the really big world-changing decisions, the only way could maintain those in a way that is significant would be to make entirely divergent plots, which would be great if we could do it, but we can't. So we have to control it to a degree, and it's possible that at a certain point we might need to reboot the plot. But we never intended to set out and make a trilogy, we just wanted to use Dragon Age as an interesting setting for fantasy games, and however many we could make in that until...at the time when we made Origins we had no idea if this would be successful or interesting to people, we thought we'd try a game and see what we could do and it's worked fairly well. The idea when I made Thedas was...at the time, we didn't know what the plot was. We had not made Origins, we had nothing in mind for what we could do for a game. So when I created the setting I kind of made sure that every major area in Thedas had something interesting about it, some conflict that was there, something that "Oh yeah, I could set a story there that could have an entire game revolve around it, or a novel, or a movie, or whatever the case might be." It's doubtful that we'll get to them all but there's a lot of potential there.


TUK: In conjunction with spreading out the breadth of the story, at least location-wise, is it possible that we could get the multiple origins for the starting point of the next character of Dragon Age 3, who presumably will be somebody different.

DG: The origins in Origins, they were an interesting feature, they were important for the first game because they were designed to introduce the world. You had a view into the world. Part of whether we would go back to origins depends on whether we would have different races for the player again. There were pros and cons to having a set race for the player. Whether we would go back to origins, it was a lot of hunting, because it was essentially a separate chapter for each origin. I think it's more likely that some kind of middle ground will arise. Mostly because of time issues but a lot of it was intentional as well, the ability to have your....let me get my words straight here, I am a writer in theory...the customization was stripped down at the beginning of DA2 and a lot of it was necessary, but ideally we'd like to have some more of that customization back in. Although as soon as you go back to all the customization Origins had you inherit some of the weakness Origins had in that respect as well. So I think I'd like to have some sort of origin or background ability, something for the player to pick in that respect, give themselves a little more flavor and choice on what kind of character they're playing. Whether we'd go back to the full blown origins and unique chapter we had before, that seems a little unlikely but it really is related to how much content can we produce and where we would like to put it. Having eight chapters--was it eight?