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Dragon Age forums update
Game News - posted by Vault Dweller on Thu 10 June 2004, 15:53:46Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age: Origins
NWN Vault keeps track of what's been said by various Bioware developers about Dragon Age and other stuff. Here are the most interesting parts:
David Gaider: There will be romances. Lots of them. In fact, every party member will start pulling your hair and passing notes to the other party members about how cute you are when they think you aren't looking. They will refuse to participate in quests unless you stand around playing footsies with them in the local tavern for at least an hour. There will be warm fuzzy feelings gushing all over you as you scream helplessly.The moral of this story: Morality clauses (together with Hasbro and WotC) suck!
There will also be companions which you can make into friends. They will pat you on the back and tell you war stories. Occasionally they will slap your butt in a friendly manner and an uncomfortable moment will pass before they deny being one of the romantic NPC's. They will have lots and lots of personal quests that they will demand you take time from your busy schedule to deal with, lest they stomp their feet and storm off. Sometimes they will bake you a cake.
We felt this was the best way to go.
Oh, and ummm... there's some other story going on in the midst of all that, but we'll need to hire more writers before we can get to it.
Georg Zoeller: I disagree that the existing backstory in D&D (guess you are talking about FR) makes it easier to craft stories. It actually makes it harder: Because you can not do permanent changes to the world, it is hard to do a heroic story where the things that your player does really matter. We had to cut several endings for Hordes because they involved killing a major villain in the D&D setting or otherwise changing things (i.e. destroying that Inn in Waterdeep). Also, and that's not a minor thing, there are so many sourcebooks in D&D, so many things said about the background story, it is very hard to be creative without violating something that has already been said. There are several on just how Undermountain is supposed to be, so creating a story there is balancing between not contradicting the sourcebooks and making things interesting.
Writing the story we want: When using a license we have to write story and gameplay in a way that it is consistent with the image of the license holder and is tailored toward the target audience the license holder wants the game to have.
Also keep in mind that licenses can change the owner and the new owner could have different views on things that the old owner had. (i.e. target audience suddenly drops to an "E" rating)
[Purely Virtual Example]If the license holder decides thatthings happening in the game (i.e. kissing in romances, sex (even when married , slavery, treachery, etc) are not compatible with the company image, this severly limitesthe options our writers have to to craft the story they want to (and the kind of story our fans expect from us.)
Some licenses these days come with "morality clauses" that state things like "in the end good must always prevail. Evil must be punised and can not win", etc. that can be invoked by the license holder and would prevent things like evil endings impossible.
As stated before, working with licenses has it's benefit and can produce very successful and enjoyable games (see KotOR, HotU), but if you are out to create a game that "tells your story in your world", (which is what we want to do with DA), a license is not a good idea. If we wanted to "tell a story about the Hero of Waterdeep", we would choose D&D, but this time we are out for something else.