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Moderators said that this thread will be more appropriate in this section so I'll recreate it.

From what we've heared, Project Eternity looks like an opposite from Dragon Age 2, and, from developers' statements, DA3 as well.

- Full dialogues, instead of herp derp paraphrases.

- Tactical combat, instead of AWESUM BUTTUN mashing.

- Choices that matter, instead of linear gameplay.

- Customizable PC, instead of pre-defined one.

- Party-based RPG, instead of interactive movie.

- Silent protagonist, instead of voiced one.

- Complex dialogues, instead of "Yes" and "No" with two "levels" at best.

And so on, and so on. I wonder, was it intended to grab that two million fans that deserted BioWare when they found what DA2 turned out to be or Obsidian just wanted to make a "true" wRPG?

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About DAII's development by a former Obsidian and Bioware employee

 

http://www.formspring.me/TDEvans

 

Dragon Age 2's development was very accelerated. It was the first BioWare game to my knowledge where the studio didn't have the luxury to take as long as they needed. The full game, start to finish was done in around 11 months. That's much like Obsidian's development of KoTOR 2, except Obsidian had around 2 dozen developers, while BioWare had about 180 (not including QA and Marketing).

 

Prior to starting at BioWare, I had several chats and email exchanges with Mike Laidlaw (DA2's lead designer) where I gave him feedback and ideas as he formulated his plans for the game. Then, when I came to Edmonton in early January 2010, I was one of the first designers on the project, along with Mike Laidlaw and David Gaider (lead writer). I was involved in providing more feedback on the design direction and story. Early on, I concepted gameplay features that didn't make it into DA2 due to time constraints, but will likely be part of DA3. As the DA:O DLC's were wrapping up, more designers and other developers began trickling onto the project, and we quickly went into full production.

 

My main responsibilities on DA2 were pretty varied, which was unusual for BioWare. Most of their designers specialize in particular disciplines, while I'm more of a generalist, or a "polymath" as Mike Laidlaw called me. So I shifted between writing, level/technical design, creating the new map system, assisting with audio, and dabbling in cinematics.

 

After DA2 was done, I spent several months directing a small prototype team, and rapidly iterating on puzzles and other game modes to complement and extend DA2's core gameplay. Several of the things we prototyped were included in DA2's DLC, and some others will perhaps be part of DA3 (I couldn't say for sure).

 

At the end of May 2011, BioWare Edmonton had a "reduction in force" (which is fairly common practice at the end of a project). The layoffs included me and some other designers. They wouldn't give me any specific reasons why, but they did say it was absolutely not performance related. My assumption was that they chose to layoff people who were not as firmly rooted at BioWare Edmonton. There are a lot of people at the studio who've been there for many, many years, and several couples who work together. Since I'd only been at BioWare for 18 months, and I didn't have any family also working there, I was perhaps a bit more expendable.

 

Though I didn't choose to leave BioWare, they actually did me a favor. I'm far too eclectic to be content for long in a studio like BioWare Edmonton. Plus, the very generous severance they provided allowed me to take the summer off (my first break longer than 2 weeks since I started in the game industry in 1998). I got to spend ample time with my family, work on personal projects, create a couple apps, and study casual and social games - which I've been interested in working on for years.

 

I value my experience at BioWare. I learned a whole lot, and I really enjoyed meeting and working with many of the talented developers at the studio. I'm still friends with several of them (some of whom I'll be seeing this weekend at Calgary's Comic Expo). :-)

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I think they just wanted what they believe to be a good RPG.

This.

 

It's not like Obsidian hasn't done most of the stuff on that list in the past. Sometimes you just have ideas that you would love to see become real, yet can't find the support amongst those with the means to finance it. Doesn't mean they are Anti-something as much as Pro-something else.

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Not everything has some hidden agenda...in this case, I don't think there's anything there, outside of a bunch of pro game nerds wanting to create something they might enjoy themselves and hoped/thought there might still be a market for, even if the big publishers don't see it as profitable enough to go with it.

 

I'm reminded of stuff like writers who had ideas for TV shows, who were frustrated by their inability to pitch them successfully to networks. Happens a lot. Gene Roddenberry, IIRC the lore correctly, finally ended up pitching Star Trek as "wagon train to the stars" before anyone got it and gave him a chance. Then he spent a long time struggling with the network for his show being too cerebral. I wonder what Gene might have done with Kickstarter. ;)

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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- Silent protagonist, instead of voiced one.

- Complex dialogues, instead of "Yes" and "No" with two "levels" at best.

How do you reconcile these?

You can't have a dialogue with a silent protagonist.

 

More a case of the other way round. With fully voiced characters, the budget for voice acting severly restricts the number of choices writers can give you in a dialogue. Only with a silent protagonist can you truly have vast options that allow for true dialogue and not just a narrow exchange of set phrases.

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Silent protagonist dose not participate in dialogues and game is driven by monologues as a result.

I think you meant that protagonist will be unvoiced.

 

Yeah that's what I meant!

But it's also what the OP meant.

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*shrug* Basically half of what you wrote isn't even true.

 

DA2 had a party. DA2 had multiple ways to complete quests and it wans't any more linear than most BIO or Obsidian game. You ahd a customizable party. Why do people feel the ened to make stuff up?

 

I'm looking forward to PE but bashing other games - espicially with made stuff up - is silly.

 

Plus, if we want to get down to it, PE has stuff in common with ME2... L0L

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DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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- Silent protagonist, instead of voiced one.

- Complex dialogues, instead of "Yes" and "No" with two "levels" at best.

How do you reconcile these?

You can't have a dialogue with a silent protagonist.

 

Unvoiced is not silent.

 

Have you never played any of these types of games before? CRPGs?

 

It's not like a JRPG where you get to choose "Yes" or "No" and the only correct response is "Yes," or a first-person shooter like the Half-Life series where the silent protagonist is little more than a floating gun platform that people inexplicably have positive reactions to.

 

*shrug* Basically half of what you wrote isn't even true.

 

DA2 had a party. DA2 had multiple ways to complete quests and it wans't any more linear than most BIO or Obsidian game. You ahd a customizable party. Why do people feel the ened to make stuff up?

 

I'm looking forward to PE but bashing other games - espicially with made stuff up - is silly.

 

Plus, if we want to get down to it, PE has stuff in common with ME2... L0L

 

Did you ever actually try to take different options in DAII? I can think of a whole lot of quests off-hand that only had one "correct" path which the player was railroaded onto regardless of their choices. Like when the chantry woman wants you to take a qunari mage through the sewers, you're presented with a choice of yes or no. If you say no, the game continues as if you'd said yes and won't allow you to proceed until you do it. Not to mention the ending, in which your choices are irrelevant because both sides of the conflict attack you for no reason regardless of which one you side with.

 

The only choice of consequence I can remember was dealing with Isabella and the Qunari.

Edited by AGX-17
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"Did you ever actually try to take different options in DAII? I can think of a whole lot of quests off-hand that only had one "correct" path which the player was railroaded onto regardless of their choices."

 

Multiple quests have multiple ways to do them and have different results.

 

 

"Not to mention the ending, in which your choices are irrelevant because both sides of the conflict attack you for no reason regardless of which one you side with."

 

Not any worse than in DA1 where your chocie is to kill the spawn dragon or to... kill the spawn dragon....

 

 

"PE opposite from DA, well if wasn't i wouldn't even have thought about pledging so far so good,"

 

If PE didn't have similarities with DA, I wouldn't have pledged for it.

 

See, it works both ways. :)

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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"Not to mention the ending, in which your choices are irrelevant because both sides of the conflict attack you for no reason regardless of which one you side with."

 

Not any worse than in DA1 where your chocie is to kill the spawn dragon or to... kill the spawn dragon....

 

 

Yes worse.

 

What AG is commenting on is the fact that the game tells you you have to choose between group A or group B. Once you make your chocie the game proceeds in the same way regardless of the choice, as events have been set up in such a way that your choice does not matter.

 

What you try to bring up as an equal example is a game that says: this is the big evil boss monster you have to kill. There is no dishonesty in the game design where it misleads you into thinking you have a choice. You purpose from start to end of DA:O is to kill the Archdemon.

DA2 tries to set up a conflict in which you try to choose sides but regardless of your chocies and your actions, events will always unfold in the same way leading to the exact same outcomes.

You could just as well have said "Not any worse than Space Invaders where your choice is to shoot the invaders or to... shoot the invaders..." Would have been just as relevant.

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Did you ever actually try to take different options in DAII? I can think of a whole lot of quests off-hand that only had one "correct" path which the player was railroaded onto regardless of their choices. Like when the chantry woman wants you to take a qunari mage through the sewers, you're presented with a choice of yes or no. If you say no, the game continues as if you'd said yes and won't allow you to proceed until you do it. Not to mention the ending, in which your choices are irrelevant because both sides of the conflict attack you for no reason regardless of which one you side with.

 

The only choice of consequence I can remember was dealing with Isabella and the Qunari.

I replayed DA2 several times and there are more quests that have a different outcome depending on the players actions, Like Fenriels quest, or practically all of the companions questlines.

 

DA2 was a horribly rushed and suffered for it, but they also did many things right, (E.g the relationship and interaction with the companions).

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"Yes worse.

 

What AG is commenting on is the fact that the game tells you you have to choose between group A or group B. Once you make your chocie the game proceeds in the same way regardless of the choice, as events have been set up in such a way that your choice does not matter.

 

What you try to bring up as an equal example is a game that says: this is the big evil boss monster you have to kill. There is no dishonesty in the game design where it misleads you into thinking you have a choice. You purpose from start to end of DA:O is to kill the Archdemon.

DA2 tries to set up a conflict in which you try to choose sides but regardless of your chocies and your actions, events will always unfold in the same way leading to the exact same outcomes.

You could just as well have said "Not any worse than Space Invaders where your choice is to shoot the invaders or to... shoot the invaders..." Would have been just as relevant. "

 

l0lz

 

What baloney. It's the same. You have no chocie to kill the darkspawn dragon. That's the entire game. And, both major antagnoists in DA2 at least have something to them than just being a monster.

 

DA2 main quest > DA1 main quest

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Well, I'm ok with this as long as it doesn't turn into another BW bashing thread.

 

DA2 was a bad game but that doesn't sully BW's previous projects for myself and in way BW is still doing what I knew them for. Which is entry level WRPGs that are easy to digest for those not used to the more straight forward mechanics of other games. I'd like to think that if any of BW customers are backing up PE is because they enjoy the genre and are looking for a different experience, rather than what they believe would be an improvement on the BW formula.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Well, with BioWare RPGs tend to gravitate further and further from actual role-playing towards action, there is a niche that became free. Almost assured that PE will not be able to compete with upcming DA3 in terms of graphics and animation, but good RPGs always lacked grapic aspect because too much effort were diverted to actual gameplay.

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I don't think PE is created to spite Dragon Age II. Truth be told, DA 2 committed too many errors in general to have been great on its' own.

 

- Companions were boring, disgusting, whiney, unloyal, too weird... (For example: Isabela isn't the kind of person you build a solid friendship with. She's the kind of person you meet in a brothel and have a random threesome-foursome with before never talking to her again, which was her exact role in Dragon Age Origins. Also, she's a terrible human being who takes no responsibility for her own actions, and she's a boring character to boot. She also acts like a dude! And the dudes act like women! My favorite quote from Anders: "Maybe you should just run to your precious Fenris! Perhaps he can tame your wild heart!" From there I just went: "I'm not even bi-curious!" So you lied to me!" "I only said things that wasn't supposed to upset you!")

- You stuck around in an unlikable city that was hell-bent on destroying itself. You can't save a city like that and you felt more like a victim of circumstance. It's like watching your idiot-friend poke a bear with a stick. You can tell him not to do it, but eventually, you'll let him out of your sight and he's gonna run to that bear and poke it anyway.

- Too little happened for the most part, and the huge time-gaps were too sudden. Years pass and suddenly you get approached by people you met over the years. They go: "'eeeey! How's it going ol' pal?" And you're like: "Um.. I don't know you?"

- You explore the same 5-6 caves about 3-4 times each in one play-through. In fact, you can sum up dragon age II like this: It's a cave simulator. Over the span of 8 years, you play a character named Hawke who lives in a cave. You spend much time ridding monters from said cave and keep it tidy. :/

- Dialouges were meh, as mentioned in OP's post. And the voice acting from Hawke wasn't very good. In Dragon Age Origins you spent hours with a pleasant imaginary voice in your head, and now you're watching an unfunny american pretending to be a boring british person.

- ... The combat was probably the best I've seen in RPG though. :)

- I actually wanted to play the Hero of Ferelden from Dragon Age 1. The best moments of Dragon Age 2 for me, was hear the very few lines mentioning my old hero and about his wife :)

 

Ah well..

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I wonder, was it intended to grab that two million fans that deserted BioWare when they found what DA2 turned out to be or Obsidian just wanted to make a "true" wRPG?

What a strange question. Or, perhaps, a strange way to formulate a question... I doubt DA2 even crossed Obsidian's mind when they were making their plans for PE, but what I think you're really asking is whether we think they purposefully picked a type of RPG that isn't really being made anymore to "pull in" gamers who aren't satsfied with today's modern CRPG offerings (like DA2)?

 

And yes, I think it's very likely that they realized this while planning PE, but I also think they -- and many other developers, including those working for BioWare -- genuinly love the Infinity Engine style of 2D, tactical, group-based CRPG's and really really wanted to make a game like that. And so, recognizing the demand for that type of game (a demand that had existed since long before DA2 was released btw) and seeing an opportunity in Kickstarter to satisfy that demand with a great degree of freedom, without the interference of a publisher, and create a brand new Intellectual Property that they would own all the rights to, they simply went for it. And then it became the most succesful video game kickstarter to date 8)

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Well, with BioWare RPGs tend to gravitate further and further from actual role-playing towards action, there is a niche that became free. Almost assured that PE will not be able to compete with upcming DA3 in terms of graphics and animation, but good RPGs always lacked grapic aspect because too much effort were diverted to actual gameplay.

If there is a nice in todays RPG market then it's turning games into outright pornography.

You'd think Obsidian would be the first to capitalize on that given all the call for romances and nude mods that are being made.

If it was gameplay that people were nostalgic about then mods for NWN/NWN2 would still rule the day.

And I don't mean the likes of 'A dance with rogues'.

Edited by pmp10
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I don't think PE is created to spite Dragon Age II. Truth be told, DA 2 committed too many errors in general to have been great on its' own.

 

- Companions were boring, disgusting, whiney, unloyal, too weird... (For example: Isabela isn't the kind of person you build a solid friendship with. She's the kind of person you meet in a brothel and have a random threesome-foursome with before never talking to her again, which was her exact role in Dragon Age Origins. Also, she's a terrible human being who takes no responsibility for her own actions, and she's a boring character to boot. She also acts like a dude!

 

Companions (aside from Merrill,) were the only thing DA2 really did well. If you DO befriend her, she will step up, be honest, admit she stole the book and that's why the Qunari are still there, and she'll return to the city to give the Qunari their book back even though she'll be pursued by goons of the guy who was going to buy the book from her. Then the choice is letting the Qunari take her or not. If you refuse to let the Arishok take her, you fight him, if you let him take her there will be no fight and the Qunari will leave peacefully.

Edited by AGX-17
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Every single one of them got on my wick, mostly played solo for that very reason halfway through chapter 2 onwards, and it improved the game immeasureably. Dwarf = boring, Abomination = whiny, Guardswoman = incompetent, Sister = super boring and whiny, can't remember the rest but all of them partook in absolutely cringeworthy supposed humour, that buffy like infantile stuff that's called "snarky" I think. Hardly Wilde.

 

The Qunari stuff got me through the game, really wanted to join them and overthrow the feudal kingdoms of Thedas. Chapter 3 I just went through the motions until the McGuffin slave flew off into space. That's when I gave up and uninstalled, still sixty or so hours of entertainment made it more than value for money.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I wouldn't call him a bastard Volourn, but he just didn't seem to do much except complain at me and whine about his brother. I couldn't even kill him or tell him to do one, horses for courses I suppose. Still better than Oghren.

 

Also he just stood around in his room, never sat or made any other action.

Edited by Nonek

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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