Dragon Age: Dreadwolf - BioWare Community Update: All by Design

BioWare's first Community Update of 2023 peeks behind the curtain of RPG design using the studio's upcoming Dragon Age: Dreadwolf as its main example. We're told about three distinct types of game designers that are generally involved in creating RPGs and the way BioWare utilizes their talents, and get a very general overview of Dreadwolf's branching skill system.

Beyond that, the update brings us a Community Spotlight section and lists a number of official channels welcoming community questions. The entire thing is quite lengthy and visual in nature, so here's a couple of excerpts and you take it from there:

Game Design 101

When we use the term “designer,” we aren’t referring to someone who visually creates outfits or environments, as you might expect from a fashion or landscape designer in the real world. In game development, those would be our artists. Our designers help craft, balance, and conceptualize the player’s journey—working with artists, programmers, writers, and more to build out the game in a highly collaborative process.

In this blog, we’ll look at a key RPG system and how three distinct types of game designers are involved in making them.
  • Systems Designers work on a variety of features across the game, like skill trees and difficulty levels. Their goal is to create a vision for features that will directly impact the player’s experience.
  • User Experience (UX) Designers, collaboratively with systems designers, take the vision and explore how players will interact with it by creating mock-ups and early user flows.
  • Technical UX Designers then build it in-engine, working with the systems and UX designers in a constant back-and-forth, keeping the player’s experience and usability in mind at all times.
There are many other kinds of designers, too! Gameplay designers focus on creating and balancing the moment-to-moment gameplay, technical level designers create the building blocks for level designers to map out the player’s journey through locations, technical UI designers tailor how information is clearly surfaced to the player, cinematic designers craft scenes for the best storytelling experience, and narrative designers make sure the story’s flow of information to the player is a cohesive experience.


"I Suspect You Have Questions"

This year, we also wanted to provide you all with a direct way of asking us questions. Now, we can’t answer every question, but we’ll try to answer what we can in our upcoming BCUs. There will undoubtedly be some that we’ll have to save for later, though.

Questions like “when will a big reveal trailer drop?” or “when does the game come out?” are things we’ll save for official announcements. However, if you have questions about a BCU’s topic (including past BCUs), games we’ve made, or other relevant questions that come to mind, please feel free to ask! You can even just ask a fun question you want devs to answer.

We’ll be keeping an eye out on Twitter (#AskBioWare), community subreddits, and community Discord servers for questions you all want to have answered. We’re looking forward to answering some!