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Drew Karpyshyn, one of the better known writers behind many of BioWare's games, recently had a chat with the folks from The Inner Circle Games Network, which resulted in an hour-long podcast-style interview that goes over most of Karpyshyn's career in the video game industry, from Knights of the Old Republic to Mass Effect. The link above offers a couple of ways to listen to the interview, but if you click here, you'll find a transcript of the interview's Mass Effect-related parts. An excerpt:
Drew Karpyshyn on Mass Effect
One of the things we asked Drew about was how Mass Effect came to be, including whether parallels to Knights of the Old Republic were intentional and trying to understand the overall process behind creating such a huge new IP. We also asked about what it was like putting together the team for Mass Effect.
He told us that “What we usually try to do with BioWare is we try to build on what we’ve done before. So there was a lot of the same team, some of the writers, some of the artists, a lot of the production people, from KOTOR, came on to Mass Effect. We worked well together, we had done a pretty good job on KOTOR, it was a already a big success so wanted to keep a lot of that team together.”
He also talked about the nature of the conversation wheel and how things changed with having a voice protagonist.
“This idea of having multiple responses for the player to pick, we kept that but then we added this idea of full voiceover for the player and then we realized if we do that, you don’t want to read an answer and then have the character say it. It almost sounded like it was coming out twice, because you would read it in your head and the player would say the exact same thing” he says. “So then we had to come up with this whole paraphrase system where we had to give people an idea of what they were going to say in a way that would, when they picked the choice, let it flow into the voice of Shepard and still feel natural and not break up the cinematic feel of the scene.”