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Dragon Age Forum News IV (Jan. 02, 08)

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by chevalier, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Dec 14, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Stanley Woo, QA Ninja

    Some General Questions About Dragon Age

    (3) How long has DA been being worked on?
    Probably five years so far. It's quite a neat world and the story is rather intricate.

    Motion sickness sensitive: Will I be able to play?

    I've had that sort of problem with fast-paced games, but Oblivion and a game like BioShock both worked okay. The critical factor was that I was able to mostly move or turn slowly, unlike in games which require a lot of quick movement in narrow corridors. I've learned to accept the over-the-shoulder (ots) viewpoint, and even have coped with the first-person viewpoint if I had to do so, but I'll always be partial to the top-down isometric. That's what I set The Witcher in when I played, and it's a good thing. I tried the ots view and it was incredibly bad; I couldn't handle it for more than a few minutes. A KotOR viewpoint was okay, and I had no problem there.

    So, if DA offers a view like KotOR, at least, then I should be able to manage fine. I don't expect it to be terribly fast-paced, but I'd love it if there was a top-down isometric choice. Sounds like that's not going to be there, though, so I'll have to deal.
    Kevin Lynch, Dragon Age would probably be okay for you.


    Errm, ok then, I guess I can’t help you. You do seem to have it on a much more severe scale than some of my friends or Sliphawk, Kevin etc who’ve found some solution to it.

    Perhaps Stanley Woo may wish to elaborate a bit more on his posts…

    I really can't, since my responses are based solely on what I'm interpreting of people's complaints and what I've seen of the camera movement so far. I can neither predict what the final camera system will be like, nor can I accurately gauge individual camera movement tolerances.

    It's just easier to say than prefacing every response with "Based on a correct interpretation of the accuracy of individual articulation of their subjective problem and assuming the camera movement system remains the same as it does at the moment that I am posting a response..."

    I don't have a problem with camera movement and have very few problems with motion sickness in FPSs (save for the garish colours in Wolfenstein 3D, which did make me ill). Some people have problems with the camera movement and weapon bob, some with the character animation, and some with the camera focused on a part of the character which moves.


    Possibly; it's way too early to say what options/settings the game will or will not have.

    And those are some really good suggestions. Many people I know have as large a monitor as they can afford yet are still sitting a metre away from their screen. And then they lean into it when playing. That would make anyone ill, and not just with games.


    No, that's not what I mean. Again, without knowing the precise colour/movement/speed/direction triggers that make individuals uncomfortable with the cameras, I can't really really say for sure. All I can say is that, based on what my friends and family have told me about games they didn't like, and based on my own experiences with those same games, certain movements with Dragon Age's camera, framerate, and movement as they currently exists may mean it is unplayable to those with increased sensitivity to such things.

    *whew* And you wonder why companies put all those warning and disclaimers on things.

    Seriously, though, right now the camera stuff is still being worked out, but if they stay the same or very similar to the way they are now, some of you might not enjoy it. Then again, final art, animations, and framerate might help. Or perhaps there are camera settings that offset some of the more severe problems. But I don't know that. You're asking a subjective question now with the information you have at hand, I'm answering a subjective question as best I can with the information I have at hand.

    Ultimately, you won't know until you play it.

    Mary Kirby, Writer

    The Bioware Plot Model [MANY SPOILERS]

    I am a huge fan of exploration in games. That was what persuaded me to play CRPGs in the first place. However...

    Why do I want to explore any given rich, detailed world or interact with the people in it? I have found, in my own experiences with games, that the plot is what fuels my interest in the world and even in my party members.

    The first time I picked up Morrowind, I hated it. I wandered around a few cities and poked my head into a smugglers' cave and promptly got bored. At several friends' insistance, I picked it up again almost a year later and tried playing through the critical path. I fell in love with the island I was on, and the people on it only when I started to explore that story. I played Morrowind to learn more about my character's relationship to Nerevar, Azura, the Tribunal, and Dagoth Ur. When I finished the main plot, I lost all interest in playing further. In BG2, Irenicus was the carrot that lured me through Chapter 2. Jolee has been, quite possibly, my favorite character to date in any game, but I only found him and his stories appealing because they were relevant to me; I knew he was telling me something about myself, that he knew things about me I didn't know.

    I'm more than willing to accept the idea that there are gamers with tastes and motivations different from mine. But the first task we writers have (whether we're talking games or plain old print fiction) is to persuade the audience that the world we are inviting them to explore is worth their time. A good villain can do that better than almost anything else. Irenicus, or Malak, or Sephiroth, or Dagoth Ur immediately makes the world around me relevant. It is no longer a sea of details that have no meaning to me, personally. I know where my character fits into it, I have an urge to find out what is at stake, I know that if I look around enough, I will find the roots of what caused all this. And now I can go exploring, which is what I love to do.


    Haven't you read The Tick? Protagonists with no villains to thwart wind up needing a lot of therapy. (Though I would definitely be interested in writing a ninja hedge into a game some day... *sigh*)

    Honestly, the game you're describing here exists. It is The Sims. There are no villains to fight. There are choices to make, and characters with stories of their own to interact with, and there's progress to be made. It is the story of your character and/or characters versus everyday existence, possibly with alien abductions or plagues caused by your pet guinea pig, but you never win. It's a good game. And obviously that model can work. (I really only liked building houses, though.)


    What we're not going to do, what I think nobody who hopes to produce good work should ever do, is take risks just for the sake of being "different," or "edgy." We're as interested in innovation as you are, but to truly be innovative, you need inspiration -- not just a desire to rebell. We'll break the rules when we want to.


    Did I say that they sat around waiting for lightning to strike? No. But that they obviously had an idea and worked to bring it to life? That should be obvious. They were not breaking with traditional forms just because they disliked traditional forms. They did so with a full understanding of what those forms were and how and why they worked, and for a reason. "To be different," is not a reason. Lots of things are different. That doesn't necessarily make them good. Cheese-wiz in my coffee instead of sugar would be different. Pouring my coffee over homemade vanilla ice cream would be different and good.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2018
  2. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

    Nov 12, 2005
    Likes Received:
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