Doctoral: Bioware Lecture At BAFTA

By Jim Rossignol on December 21st, 2011 at 5:06 pm.


The Drs Bioware recently lectured at BAFTA in London, talking to the assembled throng about the art of making RPGs, with particular reference to some fairly big games they’ve made recent, the Mass Effects and The Old Republic. They even bravely attempt to answer questions fielded by the BAFTA audience. I’ve posted an except below (via VG247) a more extensive version of the thing can be seen over here on BAFTA Guru. It’s worth a watch.

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123 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    felisc says:

    er, what’s with ray muzyka on this screenshot ?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I find this is the best technique when I read the Twilight series

    • Zhou says:

      If that’s the one on the left, then I’d say he’s miming pleasuring himself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Bafta may have another view though.

    • Ephaelon says:

      Perhaps pleasuring another. His left hand’s making a cupping motion.

    • E_FD says:

      So it’s a commentary on Bioware’s relationship to EA, then.

  2. Wizardry says:

    Thanks for telling us how to make RPGs, BioDocs!

    • Orija says:

      Should’ve been the folks from Obsidian or CDPR. These two blokes’ blabbering away is akin to Stephanie Meyer giving the keynote speech at the Hugo Awards.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      This is clearly another smash-hit, as a follow up to their previous “JRPGs are not RPGs” line of work.

  3. Very Real Talker says:

    how to make an rpg, by bioware

    -gay sex
    -romances
    -make half the character badass women, no matter how inappropriate it may be- even in a dark, violent game inspired by the middle ages, equality of the sexes and tolerance of homosexuality is a must*

    • Metonymy says:

      I understand and respect the fact that people take mass effect seriously, but can anyone really argue that this is lukewarm entertainment?

      Even if we just look at them as stories: the environments all look like toilet bowls, the characters are all 20-something generic heroes with super-serious objectives in a super serious world of future magic. It’s just crap. Comic books are better than this. Any television show is better than this.

      And now I think the metacritic on TOR is “5.” A WoW clone with desolate environments. Why would anyone listen to someone that is not excelling?

    • Ross Angus says:

      Metonymy: I see your point, and I partially agree, but the comparison between Mass Effect and (say) Heroes (the TV show) is meaningless. Even if we were to somehow objectively say that Heroes was better, Mass Effect is more fun because I’m doing the fighting and the talking and the exploring.

      Plus of course, the narrative in any game comes not only from the writers, but from the emergent gameplay. Today, for example, I played STALKER, and needed some bloodsucker tentacles (I’m playing the mod Narodnaya Soljanka, and it’s hard). I knew the bloodsucker would kill me in one hit, but found one sleeping, and killed it with a frag grenade. This (rather dull) narrative wasn’t written by anyone but the AI script and my actions.

      I’d love to see narrative in games reach the standards of my favourite books or films. Which is why I perhaps exaggerate quality when it reaches higher than average.

    • woodsey says:

      @ Metonymy

      A 5 from the user score, which are even more useless than the numbers paid reviewers attach. Let’s not forget that Portal 2 was saddled with a 4.something because a splash screen said “console” instead of “machine”.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      I often wonder what the hell is going through people’s heads when the praise the Mass Effect story and characters. Have they ever read any decent sci fi or seen any good sci fi films? The standard of the apparent best in the business is woeful. I’d be embarrassed to show it to someone not familiar with games. Though like it has been said by the previous poster you cut it some slack because of the sensation of actually being there at the centre of the story. But that doesn’t cut it I’m afraid. Don’t get me started on all the fan service, just wait for Mass Effect Xtreme Beach Volleyball.

      And the actual game behind is really tiresome.

    • Springy says:

      How to make an RPG, by Very Real Talker:

      – No faggots.
      – No intimacy.
      – No women outside the house.

    • djim says:

      Was Mass Effect 2 fun? Yes, very much so. Was Dragon Age fun? It was great fun. Was Dragon Age 2 fun? Yes it was, despite some well documented annoyances. So i reckon they make pretty damn good rpg’s.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Don’t you know, Springy? Intimacy is faggotry!

      Very Real Talker is a manly man! He accepts games set in medieval times with dragons, but no chance for female gamers to role play! Because BACK TO THE KITCHEN WUMMIN!

    • DiamondDog says:

      Mad Hamish, I like Mass Effect but I have to admit the only sci-fi I’ve seen is Spaceballs, so maybe my opinion isn’t well informed.

    • Orija says:

      I think he was referring to the way sex is handle rather than intercourse amongst homosexuals.

    • Stupoider says:

      Wasn’t Very Real Talker pointing out Bioware’s over-reliance on the romance/dating-sim and talking instead of the, y’know, actual game and lack of exemplary RPG components in their recent games? At least that’s where I’ve felt their focus has gone over the years, for the worse.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      I’m afraid not. He specifically separates ‘gay sex’ from ‘intimacy’.

      But let’s say you are right. How much, as a rough percentage, would you say these games are about sex, of any kind?

      If positions like this accurately reflect the CRPG’s of old, we can respectfully leave the genre in the past.

    • Wizardry says:

      @AndrewC: You could have homosexual relationships in Ultima VI from 1990. You could also play a transexual character in Ultima III from 1983.

    • Grygus says:

      You can play every single BioWare game without bothering with any romance, if that is your preference. To claim that these games rely on those mechanics is to project your own biases onto them and not at all a statement of fact.

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      I wouldn’t say the games discussed rely on the aforementioned intimacy mechanics. I would say Bioware uses those mechanics as a way to boost their sales through sensationalism, because they’ve got fuck-all else going for them, mechanically speaking.

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      AndrewC says:

      If they were there to boost sales they’d be the centrepiece of all the adverts. Oh wait. They’re not.

      The trailer are, in fact, usually just action stuff. Which is a different issue.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      yes stupoider, I was making fun of precisely that.

      To the other dude, I wasn’t separating gay sex from intimacy- I never even mentioned intimacy- it was just a specification.

    • wssw4000 says:

      @AndrewC

      Could you show where in his post does he separate ‘gay sex’ from ‘intimacy’? Or show where does the word intimacy appear in his post for that matter?

      It seems to me you’re just putting words into his mouth, trying to paint him as some sort of gay hater while making yourself appear so much better and more enlightened than him by condemning those words you “made” him say.

    • Metonymy says:

      I never get tired of WASP’s kneeling down and apologizing to people that they inwardly believe are morally wrong.

      Can’t you guys just be honest with each other? Oh right, we aren’t really free to speak our mind, anywhere. I forgot.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      He wrote::

      -gay sex
      -romances

    • wssw4000 says:

      @AndrewC

      Exactly.

    • runtheplacered says:

      @ Metonymy,

      First of all the TOR metacritic score of “5” (actually 5.9, making it 6) is user reviews. I can not believe you’re actually going to use that as a basis for judging the game. But secondly, since you’re so wrapped up in that why don’t you look at Mass Effect 2 which got a 8.7 user score and a 9.4 critic review and judge it the same way? Seems like you want to judge games based on criteria that only match your personal views.

    • Metonymy says:

      But doesn’t that confirm the point? 8.7 is average in the world of hyper-inflation. 5 might as well be Bible Adventures.

    • Bhazor says:

      …. people seriously don’t get the problem with strong women in a half hearted dark fantasy series like Dragon Age? Read some medieval history people. Outspoken women didn’t last too long before getting one of many nasty game overs. Same with the openly gay characters. Even the in-universe prejudices are spectacularly half assed with no one in the dalish community particularly caring that my character is a hated human who should be murdered as a warning to the world.

      If Bioware had balls these issues could be genuinely explored in a similar way as The Witcher. But they don’ so they aren’t.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      exactly bhazor. Real world had actual female heroines (and there were many powerful non-heroic women too), even when the society at large was more traditional. A fantasy game should have female heroines, but the world to be more believable should show a more traditional society at large- while we see women as soldier or as high ranking member of powerful legitimate organization like it was nothing.

      I can understand the loyalty to the equality of the sexes, but shouldn’t a medieval fantasy game show this sort of stuff in a more nuanced way instead of just saying “oh hey, in this medieval world there is 100% equality of the sexes”.

      Of course bioware can do what they prefer, I just think that the witcher handles it better (lots of powerful females and heroines, traditional society at large).

    • Rettaw says:

      Now I’m really wondering what that footnote in Very Real Talker’s original post says. Oh well, I guess it’ll show up when it is destined to.

  4. MrDanke says:

    I can’t tell if they said anything meaningful. I couldn’t hear their presentation over the sound of them being EA’s whores.

  5. Blackcompany says:

    So…lessons from the same group who according to PCG just basically said, “We’re gonna pretty much copy Skyrim next time round.”
    .
    Seems to me that if you really wanted to learn how to make what passes for an RPG these days, you would speak with Bethesda. Or at least, with their marketing department anyway. If you can manage to actually pull of some of the things they promise I figure you got it made.
    .
    Or that you’re beating Bethesda, anyway.

    • Wizardry says:

      Todd Howard? He knows less about RPGs than the BioDocs. At least they, in a time long since passed, made some D&D games.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Do we have to go over “that’s not an RPG”?

      Skyrim is a good RPG, even being Christmas #1. It’s closest to that genre, than an FPS, RTS, or something else. Sure, it might not be a real ‘onest PnP RPG, but CRPGs never were.

      You might as well take up the argument that RPGs as a computer game genre is a very nebulous term, since everybody seems to change their minds on what exactly it is defined by.

    • RF says:

      The funniest part is that D&D is a terrible RPG.

    • greenbananas says:

      @hoaxfish
      “It’s closest to that genre, than an FPS, RTS, or something else. ”

      How so? What it is closer to is to a first person action game. A game where killing everything that stands in the way of you completing your objective is the intrinsical part of the experience, where what the game asks you isn’t “how do you want to solve this problem” but rather “how do you want to kill the enemies between you and your fetch quest” quite like Doom asks you if you’d rather use a chaingun or a rocket launcher to kill a cacodemon, and as such cannot, least in my book, slap on some (childish) levelling and grind mechanic and conversation and call itself a RPG.

      Yeah the RPG title’s been perverted something fierce, but I don’t think either Skyrim or 3rd person shooter Mass Effect are shining examples of it.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      @greenbananas

      There’s been precious few RPGs ever that aren’t just kill everything for xp and leveling.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’d agree they’re not “shining examples” of cRPGs, any more than any genre has a shining example (since that implies there’s some sort of apex to aim for, rather than personal interpretation).

      Why isn’t it an FPS? Well, I guess you can choose not to shoot people, and the main focus is not on killing. Yes, killing might be a common solution, but there’s some meat between those bones, pointing you towards it.

      The open-world, rather than mission/level-based structure, also pushes it further from the FPS genre. It lends it a certain amount of “choose your own story”-ness to it.

      Of course, the FPS genre has smudged in its own terms as well, with stats, unlocks, progression, etc. So it’s probably best to talk in terms of “focus” rather than “genre”.

      “First person Action game” isn’t really a genre with crystallised boundries, rather than a selection of descriptive words. Nobody is getting much insight from “First person” and “Action”… except that it’s not Chess. Even if RPG, RTS, SRPG, etc as genre names are basically acronyms, they convey a bit more than that would suggest.

    • greenbananas says:

      @Mad Hamish

      I agree. Too few, in fact. And they’re “precious” to me as well. ;)

      @Hoaxfish

      Yes my choice of words was “loaded” because I do, in fact, believe there to be a shining example of the genre. Vampire Bloodlines. That type of playstyle, one that differs based on your choice of character, one that offers several ways past a problem, one that lets you effectively play the game (as opposed to forcing the player to ignore certains parts of it as a lot of people do while “role-playing” Skyrim) with a decent balance between your playing skills and your character’s, one where combat (admittedly overplayed in the endgame) is an unwelcome necessity in certain areas rather than just “what you do” because that’s what levels your character. Those should be the prime targets when you make a RPG, and that’s something that Bethesda completely ignores (and on a tangent, so does Bioware, which is why (I think) there’re all these snarky comments about them being invited to lecture on RPGs. Had BAFTA invited someone like Tim Cain (who’s also responsible for Fallout, another shining example) and odds are you wouldn’t have read anything like that (you’d have possibly read something about bugs in Obsidian games and something else about him being gay)).

      First person action game wasn’t used (by me) to try to coin a genre, I just called it like I see it. In fact, this plays in well with the example you used when you said that the open-world pushes it farther from the FPS genre. True, it isn’t necessarily a staple of what makes a FPS. But then it isn’t a staple of what makes a RPG either. In fact, if you take a look a where the open world, sandbox game design choice makes the biggest splash, then you find games like GTA, Saboteur, RDR, Just Cause or Saint’s Row, none of which call themselves RPGs.

      So what sets these and Skyrim apart? The presence of level ups (although these were present in GTA:SA and no-one called that a RPG either), which are too simplistic (and too unrestricted) to have any real bearing on growing your character besides grinding to get to an arbitrary number where you overcome an usually useless limitation (such as “get one handed to fifty so you can decapitate enemies”); the presence of a wealth of various items (although you do get these on the other games, just not as many), even though most of them are useless beyond equipment, weapons (including spell scrolls) and quest items (like you have in the aforementioned games), and those that aren’t are usually means to engage in some form of activity (and by engage I mean press one button and watch an animation of your character smelting/crafting, when all the gameplay that’s present only goes so far as mouse-clicking the item you want made) that ranks right along the plethora mini games of the other sandboxes; the prevalence of spoken dialogue, which in itself is fairly useless as it does nothing to give the player the impression that the characters that he/she interacts with are anything other than generic fodder, although admittedly, the problem here might be of a writing/voice-acting/graphical nature; a medieval theme, magic and swords & dragons, which, coincidentally, are completely absent from the two examples I first mentioned.

      The point I’m making is that none of these differences matter as far as the genre goes. They’re choices born of personal style, peer pressure and the desire to make a multi-platform, multi-million dollar-grocing game. If you’re being cynical, then they’re choices born of a necessity/will to dumb down the genre into something easier to code and more attractive to the general population. None of them, however, MAKE the RPG.

      As for my choice in not killing people in Skyrim, (and I do apologize beforehand for the coarseness of the following comparison) I’m sorry, but that makes about as much sense as me telling you you don’t have to kill the enemies in Doom and that that’s why I call it a racing game.

    • Wizardry says:

      @greenbananas: But Bloodlines is also a first person action game.

    • greenbananas says:

      @Wizardry

      I bet I’m setting myself up to be “taught a lesson” in RPGs, but I’ll bite, “knowledge doesn’t weigh you down” and all.

      Indeed, it is a game that’s played mainly from the first person perspective that features combat; the difference is that combat isn’t the main feature in the game, you can (and sometimes even are encouraged to) avoid it and not miss out on anything, being better at it isn’t the central (nor the only) thing you’re levelling towards (unless you so wish), but most importantly, not what’s causing you to level up in the first place.

      I’ll admit (not that I need to, I reckon it’s pretty obvious from what I wrote above), my opinion that it should be something for newer RPGs to aim towards shouldn’t be seen as absolute (not that prepotent, I’m afraid), nor does it address how different it’s become for people like you that played RPGs in the mid 80’s, not to mention the whole player skill vs character skill issue, but I do reiterate, unless you’d like to argue otherwise, for the reasons above, that the RPG acronym is a suitable description, quite unlike what happens with Skyrim.

      Mayhaps one needs moar acronyms?

    • Wizardry says:

      We are always in need of more acronyms.

    • runtheplacered says:

      Is RPS commenters always total snobs, or is it just right now? Don’t come here too often but mainly because people seem to really take their opinion as some sort of fact.

      Like the guy saying D&D isn’t a good RPG. What the hell are you talking about?

    • greenbananas says:

      I love it that I write something like…

      “I’ll admit (…) my opinion that it should be something for newer RPGs to aim towards shouldn’t be seen as absolute (not that prepotent, I’m afraid)”

      …and yet I get called a “snob”.

      Yes, Mr. “Is RPS commenters”, if you read the above and cannot come up with anything other than “OMG SNOBS CRITICISING SKYRIM! ENGAGE! DESTROY!”, then maybe it’s for the best that you don’t visit often.

    • ZeroMatter says:

      Yes, you are right, there are some horrible, horrible snobs here…

      The pretentiousness here is nothing short of disgusting. Seems like RPGCodex is spreading its curse, or something equally horrible.

      I feel sullied after having read through all the comments. I need to wash my hands.

      Btw, I’m GMing (hardcore) pen-and-paper RPGs every week , since years, and damnit, if you ask me: Dragon Age, Skyrim, Mass Effect, The Witcher, Vampire The Bloodlines, and whatnot are RPGs. (and pretty good ones, all of them!)
      But that’s just my OPINION. Got it?

  6. akeso says:

    Any discussion of games as art, producers as artists, and Bioware needs to be connected with the old concept of selling out.

    By their own definition, does this make Bioware gaming’s first sellout?

  7. greenbananas says:

    “Thanks for telling us how to make RPGs, BioDocs!” – Wizardry

    “how to make an rpg, by bioware

    -gay sex
    -romances
    …”
    – Very Real Talker

    “I can’t tell if they said anything meaningful. I couldn’t hear their presentation over the sound of them being EA’s whores.” – MrDanke

    I love you, RPS. Don’t ever change.

    • Orija says:

      Sadly, most of it is true… excluding what Wizardry said of course.

    • greenbananas says:

      First off, I only quoted Wizardry because I think it’s a given that he’s being sarcastic.

      Second, I wasn’t being sarcastic myself, that was exactly what I wanted to say when I was halfway through reading the piece and it made me laugh hard when I saw those as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th comments.

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      AndrewC says:

      People that dislike Bioware are dreary, homophobic and repetitive. Gotcha.

    • Orija says:

      @greenbananas, Yea, I know, Wizardry probably can’t read a eulogy without sarcasm.

    • Gira says:

      People that dislike Bioware are dreary, homophobic and repetitive. Gotcha.

      You’re incredible. You really are. Every post I have ever seen you make in the RPS comments section is unfalteringly defending The Big Guy with this kind of self-assured populism that sounds really authoritative and level-headed but is actually pretty meaningless. Oh, and you call everyone hipsters. Fascinating.

      Anyway, I can’t speak for everyone who dislikes BioWare, but as far as I can see, the people who dislike BioWare here do so because they make horribly-written barely multi-linear third-person Cinematic Emotional action games and peddle them as RPGs, which the vast majority of the known universe seems to accept precisely because It’s Got (meaningless) Stats.

      I mean, Bethesda are one thing – no one really takes them seriously as RPG developers any more, and they at least show a rudimentary understanding of the importance of player agency and ludonarrative over the turgid adolescent erotic fantasies exhibited by the Joss Whedon fanboys/girls at BioWare – but it’s inconceivable that even someone like you could maintain that BioWare are rationally defensible as writers/artists/games designers. They’re embarrassing now matter how you slice it.

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      AndrewC says:

      This one is only dreary and repetitive. An improvement.

    • Gira says:

      Can’t wait to see you formulate an actual retort one day, beyond odious, asinine one-liners. I’m sure it would be glorious.

    • bleeters says:

      That’ll probably be around the time folk stop acting as if a scant few minutes of optional romance content in what usually amounts to a thirty plus hour game is some kind of experience ruining plague, or remotely represents a notable portion of the game. Shepard spent far more time in Mass Effect 2 punching people in the face, but I’ve yet to see people accuse Bioware of making boxing simulators.

      So never, basically.

  8. karthink says:

    Wow, you people really don’t like Bioware.

    I like their games for what they are, lightly entertaining pulp stories. Still, their cliche-ridden niche makes for a nice foray a few times a year.

    • akeso says:

      You’re new here I’m betting.

      Lots of people on RPS LOVED Bioware, key there is the past tense.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      And most of us have managed to really rather enjoy a lot of Bioware’s games without entering in to some mildly creepy relationship with the devs that leads us to act like bitter ex-lovers when we play one we didn’t enjoy.

    • Grygus says:

      Yeah I still love BioWare despite being disappointed by Dragon Age 2. I think some people here are simply unreasonable.

    • Burning Man says:

      I am proud of my bitter ex-lover status and will defend it with as much unreasonable hatred as possible.

    • iv4nfx says:

      Heh… We immerse ourselves in games, and in case of sequels we expect the same – if not an even better experience. When a game company doesn’t just deliver, but give us something subpar and different; and on top of that it seems obvious it’s just to cash in – trust is broken. Not everyone will get so attached to a genre game to care, and those that do will react in different ways like the guy in above thread saying fuck you bioware… In todays highly competitive market, where it’s easy to get lost in numbers – “quality has a quantity all it’s own” should be devs guiding rule imo.

    • ZeroMatter says:

      “Trust is broken”.

      Some people seem to take video games FAR too seriously.

      It’s not your close, personal lover you are talking about, it’s a game studio!

  9. Ed123 says:

    People who buy bioware games should be tried as accessories to war crimes.

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      LMichet says:

      People who buy Bioware games should be deported to another dimension!

      People who buy Bioware games should have their eyes fed to wolves!

      People who buy Bioware games should be forced to look up the noses of angry horses!

      People who buy Bioware games should have to eat meatloaf!!

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I don’t think there’s enough Meatloaf to go around… at least we’ll always have his music.

    • Premium User Badge

      LMichet says:

      NOT IF WE DON’T EAT IT FIRST

  10. warkwark says:

    Bioware needs to accept that they do not want to make anything resembling a traditional RPG. They want to make conversation-based, decision-tree games and ignore all the other stuff. So they should do that. It might be interesting.

    Instead they include most of the traditional trappings, like inventory management, weapon upgrades, and dungeon areas, but do such a half-assed job that they kill the joys of exploration and character improvement. Just cut it then! Make the game you want to make, Bioware. Be brave.

  11. Bobby Oxygen says:

    The last Bioware game I enjoyed was Jade Empire. Most likely due to the interesting setting and the fact that it wasn’t long enough to get boring. Because really, all their games follow the KOTOR formula, and as much as I enjoyed that game, that formula has grown stale and uninteresting now. They are creatively bankrupt and no longer relevant to the continued progression of RPG design.

  12. pabswikk says:

    Absolutely loving the intellectual snobbishness here. ‘Oh I personally don’t like Bioware games, and therefore these people’s opinions on games as an art form is invalid’.
    Just because their games may not be good in your eyes doesn’t mean that they haven’t expressed a well-reasoned argument in this interview. I thought the interview itself was really good, and I agree with the point they were making. An artist doesn’t have to be good to understand art.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Question remains whether there are games which are art and if so, which ones. Not all paintings are art nor all books. I’m not quite convinced Bioware’s games are pieces of art.. but then again, art is subjective so that’d be hard if not impossible to ascertain.

    • pabswikk says:

      Like you said, it’s entirely subjective what games are art and what ones are not, and you can argue the examples they showed weren’t good ones, but the core essence of their argument (that video games can be art) seems to be solid.

    • Chris D says:

      I’m of the opinion that it’s more useful to say that anything presented as art is art and then talk about whether it’s good art or bad art. If you set some kind of minimum quality threshold then it throws up all kind of problems around the borderline cases. The difference between two things on either sign of the line is that one succeeds a little better than the other does but they’re doing fundamentally the same thing.

    • Nick says:

      -> I’m hungry.

    • Sif says:

      “Just because their games may not be good in your eyes doesn’t mean that they haven’t expressed a well-reasoned argument in this interview.”

      Yeah… notice how few comments are actually talking about the interview itself?

    • Consumatopia says:

      No, this sucks. The problem is that whether video games are art or not is a live debate, so having a developer that specializes in branching-paths narratives try to be the flag carrier here is annoying. It’s not that I have anything against Bioware games–not my thing, but I can see how others would like them–but their products are so close to movies that they don’t really offer any good examples of something meaningful that games can do that films can’t.

      The larger argument isn’t whether Bioware games are art–of course Bioware games are art, they’re basically movies and movies are art. The question is whether interactivity and simulation are themselves forms of art, or just matters of craft that can be used to enhance already existing forms of art–like 3D movies. Bioware can use real-time 3d graphics to show you the action from any angle, they can give the viewer some simple numbers to manipulate, and they can allow the player to choose alternative scripted narratives. But the end result is a huge, epic, yet unfocused movie. If that’s all games are, then there simply isn’t much to “games as art”, any more than there would be to “3D movies as art”.

      Yeah, it’s stupid that most comments here are about Bioware generally rather than this interview, but then again it’s really annoying to watch these guys talk.

  13. Juicetin says:

    Errm, is everyone forgetting the small issue of Baldurs Gate I & II? Definitely RPGs through and through and damned good ones to boot. They haven’t made games like that in a decade but sullying their name for everything post-KOTOR is somewhat harsh.

    • Bobby Oxygen says:

      For me, that makes their current strategy even worse. They’ve proven that they’re capable of crafting brilliant RPG’s, but actively choose to make boring KOTOR remakes instead.

    • DrSlek says:

      Didn’t Black Isle also work on Baldur’s Gate in tandem with Bioware?

      It seems the solution to the Bioware problem is clear. Resurrect Black Isle Studios and have Bioware shackled to them for every project they work on.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      @DrSlek

      No, the BG games were only published by Black Isle. Bioware did, however, create the technology that a few celebrated Black Isle games ran on, and worked with Black Isle to support that technology for those games.

    • Sif says:

      “Didn’t Black Isle also work on Baldur’s Gate in tandem with Bioware?”

      No, aside, I believe, for some minor sound work, it was all BioWare.

  14. Enzo says:

    I wanted to murder every single person working at Bioware after finishing Dragon Age 2. Now I’m calmer, but I still don’t want anything to do with that company. Just give me Mass Effect 3 and leave me alone, I want to finish that trilogy and never buy anything else from you ever.

    • Bobby Oxygen says:

      So, apart from wanting to play their next game to completion, you don’t want anything to do with them?

      Make up your mind bro.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Well, I imagine he’s already done the 1st two… he probably wants to at least see it through to the conclusion before he throws it into the sea. If a different company did the conclusion, I imagine he wouldn’t mind at all.

      You wouldn’t watch the first two Star Wars films, then not bother with the third one, since you have all those loose ends.

    • Bobby Oxygen says:

      I just don’t get that mentality. He hates the company SO MUCH he’s only going to buy ONE MORE GAME from them!

      If I had that kind of dislike for a studio, I would buy exactly 0 more games from them.

    • DiamondDog says:

      I hate you! Now take my money you bastards!

    • Stupoider says:

      It’s the same laughable will people have towards Blizzard games. “I hate Blizzard, but I’ll get Diablo 3, and then I’ll be done with them!”. Grow a backbone, people. (like me, haw haw)

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Except for, here’s the funny thing…

      DA2 and ME3 were not made by the same people.

    • Dys Does Dakka says:

      Aside from the fantasies of wholesale slaughter -well, that, and I don’t want to waste my hate on People Wot Make Games (Wot) I Don’t Like-, I used to be like you: Just wanted ME 3, and then I’d be done with Bioware and their masters at EA.
      Then they thought having a vote on Default Lady Shep’s ‘do and dye was just the thing for the fans, and I just… Gave up. I’m just not in their target demographic any more.
      -I guess I’ll have to treat ME like I did DA, which I consider a story told with the end of DAO. Whatever idiotic spin-off they now try to sell me, I don’t care any more.

      Bit of a problem, that, since I played ME 2, but I might be able to file that as a spin-off of its own, rather than an actual continuation of Mass Effect’s overall story:
      Set in the exciting Mass Effect universe, ME-TOO follows Clone Shepard, intergalactic psychotherapist extraordinaire, on a series of episodic mini adventures exploring the troubled psychés of a fascinating array of deeply considered and fleshed-out characters!
      -Fulfill your destiny as the galaxy’s finest team builder as you balance the demands of your galaxy-saving mission with the petty squabbles of clashing personalities, indulge in irrelevant romantic subplots and…
      …Got carried away again, I guess.
      But yeah. ME 2 can easily be filed under “spin-off”. No problem.

    • Enzo says:

      Mass Effect 2 is one of my favourite games in the recent years so I can’t wait for ME3, but in the recent months and especially after finishing Dragon Age 2 I kinda understood the whole “Bioware thing” that they’re doing (yeah I know, I’m late to the party). Their games are basically made for socially awkward teenagers and their forums userbase. It’s very sad and I don’t think I want to support this shit anymore.

      I know that my post sounds pretty lame and hypocritical, but Mass Effect is a trilogy with its parts very strongly connected to each other. It would be crazy if I would NOT play Mass Effect 3 after spending many great hours with ME1 and ME2, even when I don’t like the company now. I simply have to see the end of my Shepard’s story, even if the game will be bad (but probably won’t).

      So yeah, just like someone said – it’s like Star Wars prequels. I had to see the third one, just to have an opinion and to see the ending of An Important Thing.

      And after that – fuck Bioware.

    • DiamondDog says:

      But, don’t you feel like you’re being a tad over the top? Why deal only in absolutes? You’ve already said Mass Effect 3 probably won’t be bad. So if they’re capable of that, after making DA2 (which I didn’t enjoy so much) why “fuck” them?

      What it is with gamers and pointless statements of intent. Oh, I’m going to boycott them for the rest of my life! Sure, Bioware might turn to shit (yes, yes “they already are”) and you’ll be vindicated for deciding never to play any more of their games. Or, in a few years time they might make something you like the look of, but oh wait you’ve said never again. What a useless limitation to put on yourself, and pretty hollow considering you’d probably ignore that statement if ever Bioware made something you really wanted to try.

    • Enzo says:

      I don’t know, maybe I’m still in shock after Dragon Age 2.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I guess “I will NEVER buy games from company X again!!!!1111 unless its good” just means “I wish I could travel back in time and tell my past self not to waste time and money on company X’s last product”.

      Since you can’t perfectly anticipate how much you’ll enjoy a game, it makes sense for your opinion of the company to play a role in your decision to purchase and spend time on it.

      Up above someone mocks the concept of “trust” in a game developer, but think about it. Starting one of these epic games is like starting a multi-volume fantasy novel–it’s a huge investment in time. It’s foolish to make that investment just because you like the picture on the cover.

  15. Nala says:

    Don’t know whats up with some of you guys here, but I certainly loved DAO and the Mass Effects games (though not DAO2.).
    Partly because Homosexuality is no problem and I get to play a woman that’s actually looking like she is a badass warrior.

    In whatever sense those games are RPGs is yet another thing to discuss, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. And yes, for me they felt like RPGs.

    And now off, watching the video.

  16. AMonkey says:

    After Dragon Age 2 and TOR “lets just copy WoW” I’m not sure what Bioware has to teach anyone about RPGs.

  17. celozzip says:

    woah, when did everyone suddenly hate bioware?? is that the fashion now? hate on bioware and suck the dicks of those guys who made the witcher 2? yawn.

    • Wizardry says:

      For me, when Knights of the Old Republic was released. And CD Projekt are just as bad.

      For everyone else? I’m not sure. Dragon Age 2 perhaps?

      Also, could you mind your language please?

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      I’ll treat this as if you really meant to ask when I stopped liking Bioware games as opposed to hating Bioware.

      And I’d say that it started to go downhill around KotOR, a game I enjoyed, but ultimately felt a bit shallow. It then solidified around Dragon Age Origins, though the process was completed with DA2, as Wizardry said. ME2 is somewhere in between, which I guess it was just too bland to really bother me.

      The first Mass Effect was fine, though hardly a great game, but I explain that by the presence of Elcors and blue space hookers. I can’t help but admire that.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      I didn’t even like the Baldur’s Gate games! I was not liking Bioware games before it was cool.

    • Nick says:

      Hmm, Jade Empire for me, although I did enjoy the original Dragon Age. Don’t really give a flying fuck about The Witcher 2 one way or the other. If they return from the path of retardation they are on then I will be happy but all signs point to no chance of that.

    • Premium User Badge

      jaheira says:

      @ Buttless Boy

      You’re so mainstream. I hated Shattered Steel. Eat that.

    • Sif says:

      I’m going to regret asking this but I’ve got to know…

      “And CD Projekt are just as bad.”

      How? I haven’t played the Witcher 2 but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Durkonkell says:

    Wow. I feel distanced from the rest of the RPS community.

    I mean, I know that Bioware released DA2 which was a bit pants, but… why is this thread filled with such vitriol and hatred? I really like the Mass Effect series. I’m enjoying TOR!

    What… what? Ubisoft discussion threads are calmer and more reasonable than this!

    • ZeroMatter says:

      I feel you. I really do.

      Maybe it’s because I’m absolutely not fanboy material. I never worshiped Bioware as my one and true god, and never granted them my eternal love.
      I just really, really liked most of their games. That’s it.
      One not-so-excellent game doesn’t turn me into a raging maniac bent on bloody revenge.
      (In fact I don’t consider DAII as their worst game – for me it’s Jade Empire, by far!)

      Shame on you, RPS community. This is below you.

    • MarvinPA says:

      I don’t get it either, yeah. Just looks like an interesting lecture to me.

    • Apples says:

      Because it’s popular, I expect. Same reason people used to get super mad over RPS posting about minecraft all the time, and why I get angrier than I really should over people blathering on about Bastion.

  19. V. Profane says:

    If Mass Effect 3 is more like the first one than the second then I shall mellow my scowl.

  20. Dawngreeter says:

    I thought I’d say something mean about BioWare, but then I realized I don’t know why. Seems a lot of other people got the same reflex.

    Here’s the thing. I love, love, love what they did with Mass Effect. It is great. It is so great that I have a huge pile of criticism that requires I consider the game being held to a standard no other game ever got close to. I didn’t like Dragon Age the first, and I didn’t bother checking the scond. Then TOR came rolling ’round, which looks fucking ridiculous.

    So maybe Dragon Age nonsense and TOR made me think BioWare requires my scorn? I’m not sure. But I just now remembered how great the Mass Effect series is.