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David Gaider Interview

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David Gaider Interview

Interview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Thu 26 August 2010, 12:22:27

Tags: BioWare; David Gaider

Bitmob conducted an interview with BioWare's Dave Gaider.


Here's an excerpt from the first part:

LG: How much freedom did you have with writing different aspects of the game?

DG: Some. As lead designer, I have a little more freedom. If someone is a senior writer, I would give him a plot with a general plan, and he would be responsible for going ahead and breaking it down into more detail.

He doesn't usually have the freedom to create his own characters…minor ones -- yes…but the major ones -- no. They don’t get to decide the major plot. A more junior writer basically gets handed a much more detailed plan. They’re more responsible for implementing that.

As a lead writer, you get a little bit more freedom -- I’m given parameters as in "this is what we need the story to be" or the lead designer talks to me about the overall vision for the story.

We toss ideas back and forth. And then in the end, once I understand the parameters that the game’s story has to be made with, and I create that.

Inside those parameters, I actually have a lot of freedom, so that part is gratifying. It’s not a case of me deciding I want to write this story. In that respect, I have little freedom [laughs].

And this one's from the second part:

LG: What do you think about the video-game medium and its story telling ability?

DG: Well, it has a lot of limitations that you don’t necessarily deal with in other mediums. Like in a book.

I’ve written a couple of novels now [Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne and Dragon Age: The Calling]. When it comes to a book, I can put down on paper anything that’s in my imagination; however, in a video game, you have physical limitations in technology and of what you can actually show.

Where games are excellent is in the interactive part. You don’t get that in passive entertainment.

In those, you watch a character, but I don‘t think you would identify as strongly as in a game where you’re the one who directs the action. You have agency in a video game, whereas you don't in a movie or a novel. I think that changes the nature of the entertainment substantially, and that’s where the opportunities come in.

Anything that gives the player more immediacy in their agency will cause them to feel more of an element from it. And it’s not necessarily an element of choice. I know that’s intrinsic to a role-playing game, but I think stories are possible in genres other than RPGs.

Spotted at: GB

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