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Dragon Age flips Elves on their heads
Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Sat 18 April 2009, 10:10:21Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age: Origins
GamaSutra speak to the BioWare founders Greg and Ray about EA, Dragon Age and other stuff:
There's aren't many companies still doing big, high-polish single-player RPGs like this. You guys are one of them; Bethesda does it; you mentioned The Witcher by CD Projekt. You do have some companies that seem to be able to turn out really big successes in that genre, but it seems pretty localized to a few studios. Why do you think that is?
GZ: It's hard. [laughs] It really is. As funny as it may sound, if you want to try and pick, short of an MMO, one of the most challenging types of games to make -- very hard to test, very hard to create all that content, very hard to balance, all those things, it's the RPG.
We're launching Dragon Age as a huge, expansive high-quality game. We're planning for a platform around that, that you can dock new things in. Like user-generated content; we're releasing toolsets so people can make their own content. We're going to be releasing a lot of premium downloadable content for purchase post-release that will expand the possibility space of the universe.
I was speaking to [Dragon Age writer] David Gaider, and he brought up some of the reactions on the internet to this game and its trailers -- "Well, I don't understand what makes this different from Lord of the Rings," or other comments about it looking like generic fantasy.
Yeah, it's different. One example that we keep giving just to frame it is elves in Lord of the Rings are very angelic. They're at the top of the value chain in terms of respect and in terms of the way people view them, and they're an aspirational ideal for that world, the perfect creature, thousands of years old and very noble, gracious, respected.
Dragon Age flipped that convention on its head. Elves are not special -- well, not to everybody. To themselves, maybe; but to humans, they were a slave race for a while. They were enslaved, captured, and defeated.
As a result, there's a hatred. The elves hate the humans. The humans despise the elves and regard them as second-class citizens. Imagine playing as an elf in that world, interacting with humans. Imagine playing as humans traveling to the origin and seeing how elves were treated. You have that opportunity.
So instead of being an Elf hating those lowly Dwarves, you get to be an Elf hating those uppity Humans.
Spotted @ GameBanshee