Dragon Age: Origins Interviews

One of the editors over at TheGameReviews was also lucky enough to mingle with the Dragon Age: Origins team at BioWare's headquarters in Edmonton, and has since slapped up two separate interviews with lead designer Mike Laidlaw and executive producer Mark Darrah.

A bit of what Mike had to say:
J: So to a degree, is this game targeted toward that type of group? I've been told it's a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate, which is an older game?

ML: I wouldn't say it's targeted only at 30+ gamers, but it's a mature game. I think anyone who is able to handle mature games is ready for Dragon Age. So what I hope to see is that anyone who understands a what a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate means goes (Oh, yay, I remember playing that!) or (I've heard of that of that and it keeps showing up on these best of lists.) That's good, that's extremely good, and it's a good touchstone because I truly believe this game is truly hitting notes that Baldur's Gate did. The key is that we've modernized it and that we've shaved off a lot the rougher bits and made the combat more real time. I press shield bash, and wham I hit a guy with my shield and then he falls down. I think it's all very visceral and in your face. As a result, I think anyone can play it and get into fantasy and not feel kind of daunted. You start in a new world and give you a very focused origin story approach, like here you're an elf, (how does that work?) You start with limited abilities, you start with a kind of very focused character guy. You have two weapons specializations, and I know how that works, right? From there, your character starts to grow and then your party starts to grow, and it evolves, and it lets you ease into this new world, this new fantasy, without feeling like you had to climb a wall to get in there. And that's where I'm really excited about this. The game is very accessible, you can dive right in, dive into the story, get hooked and then start to feel the strategies as they grow and expand.

Before moving on to some of Mark's comments:
J: So are there any big differences between the races other than the statistical info, such as the fact dwarves can't use magic?

M: So yeah, we kept to traditional role playing standards that dwarves are unable to use magic. The dwarves are a heavily casted race, very tradition bound, very political. Elves, who used to rule the entire continent once upon a time, are now an underclass and were actually formerly enslaved. So you have city elves where you are basically living within human society, essentially within ghettos. And then you have the Dalish Elves, who are essentially elves trying to capture their previous history and their glory. And humanity is the dominate race at this point on the continent.