The editors at IncGamers have gotten around to posting a full transcript of the interview they conducted with Dragon Age online producer Fernando Melo during the Awakening press event that was recently held over in Germany.
Awakening's not marketed as a DLC pack, or a sequel, and it's been so long since I've seen expansions I was beginning to think the time for them was over. What led to the decision to make a full expansion rather than something else?
To be honest, it was a lot of the fan feedback that we got. As soon as Origins launched, the first thing we got asked was "When are you going to do a full expansion?" and that kinda got us thinking. We had already started some work towards Awakening anyway, and that's really helped validate that decision. I don't know if it's so much that the time has passed - one could probably have said before that for something like Dragon Age, an old-school traditional RPG, maybe those times were kind of gone. Certainly, Dragon Age has been really successful. We're really pleased with lots of awards that we got and the Metacritic for it, and people have really taken to it.
Fundamentally, I think that as long as you've got a fantastic story, that's what matters. With Awakening, we wanted to tell a really new story. Six months afterwards, there's a lot of events that are going to be happening, there are very big, epic changes that are going on with the world, and you're right smack-dab in the middle of it. Choices and consequences was another thing that people really enjoyed about Origins. It wasn't like you made little decisions - they were things that you really had to think about. In some cases, we heard from fans of spending 20 minutes at a decision point because there's no easy solution to it, right? And Awakening has a lot of those, as well. You fundamentally feel like you're going to be making something that is going to impact the world, and I think that's really what it was all about. There's no easy way to do that with DLC. DLC has a very specific purpose.
Dragon Age is a universe - we treat it as a big canvas. It's got a timeline; there's a set amount of time the "Dragon Age" takes place in. There's a geographical limitation - the physical world that we live in - but within that, there's huge amounts of storytelling that we want to tell. DLC allows us to very quickly tell little snippets of stories and fill in certain bits, or foreshadow things to come in some cases, but really for something like this - we want to unveil a new area, we want to really talk about some very big, big changes that're happening in the world - there's no better way to tell it than a really meaty expansion.