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Vignettes & backgrounds in Dragon Age
Game News - posted by Vault Dweller on Wed 9 November 2005, 18:04:27Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age: Origins
David Gaider has made a number of posts about characters' backgrounds in Dragon Age:
The backgrounds are pretty detailed and story-oriented... they involve beginning the game in a unique area and have an entire section of gameplay devoted just to that background. They also affect many things in the rest of the game.
So being able to pick-and-choose various elements inside of that background would be difficult without changing the story completely (and thus requiring a new background entirely), unless the changes were fairly minor.
As it is, there's much more involved than the stat-affecting backgrounds in Arcanum. And I should add that the backgrounds are only class-specific when that class has special requirements -- otherwise the backgrounds are race-specific and involve having cultural options that would be available to someone of that race.
They do define your past, to an extent-- some of the backgrounds set you up with family and perhaps even a home, give you roots in the world itself. But beyond that, yes, they're more about defining your entrance into the story and giving you an introduction to the world elements that your character should know about-- your culture, religion and so forth.
That's where I'm coming from. There's not many RPG's (not even our own) where you can have roots and a family and a background in the setting without being forced into a single pre-defined role. We give you options, and inside of the origin stories still provide you room to maneuver (we might provide you a home, for instance, but it's up to you to determine whether you like it or you just can't wait to get away from that one-horse town and adventure -- and the people around you will treat you as if you've always been that way), and we've never tried that before.
Arcanum you selected backgrounds that affected your stats. When you started the game, it was still at the same point as everyone else-- your backgrounds may have affected some dialogues after that point, but that's it.
ToEE, meanwhile, gave you a cutscene and a short snippet of play prior to arriving at Hommlet.
For DA, imagine taking that snippet in ToEE and expanding it to an entire section of the game with its own areas and plot and gameplay, introducing you to the world and your place in it prior to transitioning into the main story. That's more what we're talking about here.
Sounds pretty cool.