BioWare Writer Gives His Take on Subject Zero

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BioWare Writer Gives His Take on Subject Zero

Postby GameBanshee News » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:26 am

BioWare writer Patrick Weekes <a href="http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=101869">dropped by the Penny Arcade forums</a> to respond to comments about <a href="/news/static/EkVFAlVpEEZaGPUGgG.php">Mass Effect 2's newly revealed Subject Zero character</a>. A quick summary of his responses:<br><blockquote>That's one of the reasons that they (uh, "we", I guess) released that video. Subject Zero is a pretty good example of somebody who'd never have been in your squad in the previous game. <br><br>And as somebody who was painfully cuddled by one of those big-boy mechs yesterday, having a squad member who can bounce those guys off the wall is pretty handy.<br><br>...<br><br>Glad to hear that SuZy is in no way a polarizing figure and that nobody has decided that they aren't getting the game because it might have a topless tatskank throwing a mech around.<br><br>I could explain that Suzy's enhanced biotics come from the fact that her biotics are augmented through solar power, and the tats are solar panels, which means she always needs to have them exposed. This would be not true in any capacity, but it might make some people feel better.<br><br>The simpler explanation is that I personally utterly loathe her character. She presses a number of buttons I don't like in real-life people, and she's written well enough that she comes off like a real-life person -- a real-life person I detest. Other people respond to her extremely favorably.<br><br>Which is why, for me, she stays on the ship. And... well, not to get spoilery on you, but if this were ME1, I'd be really excited when it came time to leave someone to guard the nuke on Virmire. We're on a suicide mission. Some people might not make it. Sacrifices have to be made. (cough)<br><br>This is why we've got more than 6 this time. Having so many lets us take risks and make the characters cover a wider range. The goal in ME1 was for you to kinda like (at least) most or all of them -- if you loved them, great, but we tried to avoid taking hard-line chances (and hell, see Space Hitler for how well even that worked). The goal this time was for there to be characters you love and characters you loathe.<br><br>...<br><br>So if we include her and she's romanceable, we're being sexist by letting you conquer the exotic other.<br><br>If we include her and she's not romanceable, we're being sexist by only letting you sleep with conventionally attractive people.<br><br>If we include her but modify her appearance (no tats, no shaved head), we're being sexist by making all the female followers conventionally attractive.<br><br>If we don't include another female at all, we're being sexist for not having enough female squad members.<br><br>This is why many game developers stop listening.</blockquote>

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Nightmare
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Postby Nightmare » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:32 pm

Well, I personally greatly enjoyed leaving Ashley to guard the nuke in ME1, so if we have a similar choice in the second game...
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Postby Bazzle » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:13 am

>BioWare writer Patrick Weekes dropped by the Penny Arcade forums

Hurr. He posts there regularly as a member of the community. Also, you forgot the first line.

Glad to hear that SuZy is in no way a polarizing figure and that nobody has decided that they aren't getting the game because it might have a topless tatskank throwing a mech around.

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Postby Junpei » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:31 am

It's a good thing really. A larger range of character types means that we as an audience get a better experience, the choice of a larger range of emotion. Personally, that 1 minute clip of SubZero sold me on having her in my first play through no matter what, simple to see the interaction between her and Shep and the other character I have in my main party. Polarising characters are good and makes a great departure from the almost bland characterisation of Mass Effect 1 (except Wrex, clearly).

Mass Effect 1 has basically 1 Biotic, and if you didn't like her and didn't feel like being one yourself then your party completely missed that side of the game, which would've sucked, from the looks of it ME2 will have at least 2 biotics and they'll be different personalities to appeal to different sides in order to give people more choice.

With 10 party members, it's gonna contain a whole range of people I loathe too and that's a pretty awesome thing, loathesome characters means they are well created and rounded.

As a side note, could you clear up this news post so it actually contains real news? This post quote from Penny Arcade means very little without real context and the lack of analysis on behalf of the news writer makes it a poor piece of "journalism".

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Postby BuckGB » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:33 am

Junpei wrote:As a side note, could you clear up this news post so it actually contains real news? This post quote from Penny Arcade means very little without real context and the lack of analysis on behalf of the news writer makes it a poor piece of "journalism".


You're being awfully defensive, here. Our news should never be considered "journalism", but merely a smattering of summarized RPG-related content from around the web. I've been linking to forum activity involving RPG developers for nearly ten years here on GameBanshee, and this particular post meets that criteria and then some (as it contains additional info about "Suzy" herself).

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Postby Aqua-chan » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:00 am

When I read this post I deducted from it that Patrick did not like Subject Zero based upon her personality, not because she was underdeveloped or poorly written. In fact, it didn't cross my mind until these posts, even though not a single of our members had commented on the thread prior to this.
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Postby Raynaga » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:15 am

Pathetic

Didn't he say he loathed her because she was so well-written that she came off as a real person? Yes, yes he did.

Isn't that a compliment? If I played a game with Charles Manson as the antagonist and I actively hated the character because they did such a good job making him seem like he was the actual person, standing right in front of me that would be a huge credit to the writers behind the character. But that doesn't get a reaction like "Bioware writer loathes product of coworkers!" so who cares how accurate it may or may not be.

And you are getting a negative reaction because not only does the headline and tone of your...ahem...article deliver implications very much removed from what the conversation actually was, misleading posts like this stifle developer interaction. It also puts an innocent guy at risk for disciplinary action for something he did not do. So, to summarize: things like this harm an innocent person, harm the game community by stifling developer interaction, and have no correlation with, you know, what was actually said.

But hey, it got me to visit your site (which is pretty poorly optimized by the way) for the first time, so I guess as long as its bringing the traffic, right?

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Postby BuckGB » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:43 am

Raynaga wrote:And you are getting a negative reaction because not only does the headline and tone of your...ahem...article deliver implications very much removed from what the conversation actually was, misleading posts like this stifle developer interaction.


I was in no way trying to "stifle" developer interaction or cause problems for Patrick at the office. I've quoted many of his posts over the years, regardless of their content.

With that said, I don't want to imply that he doesn't like her as an addition to the game's squad, but that he "loathes" her personality and demeanor. Therefore, I've edited the news title and added the text from two of his other posts. How's that?