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BioWare co-created Mass Effect 3 with the fans, says Hudson

Saturday, 3rd March 2012 20:28 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Casey Hudson, executive producer of the Mass Effect series, has said the team considers itself the co-creators of the franchise alongside the fans, who have helped it create a game with better “character-based storytelling.”

Speaking with VentureBeat, Hudson said fan-feedback changing how the game was developed became apparent to the team as Mass Effect 2 development continued.

“When we started the Mass Effect series, we had no way to tell how compelling our characters would be in terms of the emotions… Especially with the aliens, we didn’t know if they would be able to portray compelling human emotion,” he said.

“We didn’t build the love interests into some of the alien characters like Garrus… He has the exoskeleton face and stuff like that. But because a character like Garrus just has great voice acting and animation, and a personality that’s really well-written, a lot of people wanted romances with him and with some of the other alien characters.

“So we decided to try that with Mass Effect 2 and that was very successful. They’re some of the most popular romances, people love those characters. That was a surprise to us, but we kind of had to finish Mass Effect one and then listen to some feedback before we tried incorporating that.”

Continuing on the subject of fan feedback, Hudson also touched upon the controversy over the day-one DLC releasing alongside Mass Effect 3, insisting once again that it’s an optional component which just adds extra “sugar on top.”

“As a fan, some people fear the worst, and they put their own spin on what they think is happening,” he said. “As a fan, if I believed those things I’d be worried too, because what some people are saying is that we’ve taken all of the lore of Mass Effect out of Mass Effect 3 and it’s only in the DLC, stuff like that.

“Of course that’s not true. In fact, Mass Effect 3 is all about answering all the biggest questions in the lore, learning about the mysteries and the Protheans and the Reapers, being able to decide for yourself how all of these things come to an end. The DLC, whether it’s day one or not, is always going to be sugar on top, the extra… You know, the extra little bits of content that tell side stories.

“Even though the character we’re releasing on day one is a Prothean, which is part of a race that’s important to the lore of Mass Effect, his story is still an interesting kind of side thing, and then you get this character that’s good if you want to have him for your first playthrough.

“But it’s always optional. We would never take stuff out of the core game and only have it in DLC.”

Hudson said once Mass Effect 3 was submitted for certification, the team of 150 strong had many choices: move on to the next game which may not be out for several years; move on to Dragon Age or The Old Republic; or create DLC for Mass Effect 3.

“When we get towards the end of the project, we get into the certification phase, and everything that we’ve ever wanted to do with the core game is actually finished,” he explained. “And now we just need to get it certified and put on the trucks and manufactured on discs and stuff. That takes three months or more. Three months or more for a team of 150 people, that equates to millions of dollars of development time.

“But we know that people really enjoyed the DLC for Mass Effect 2. So we wanted to start working on DLC [for Mass Effect 3].”

The launch trailer for the game was released yesterday, and the game is out next week on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

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11 Comments

  1. absolutezero

    “Even though the character we’re releasing on day one is a Prothean, which is part of a race that’s important to the lore of Mass Effect, his story is still an interesting kind of side thing, and then you get this character that’s good if you want to have him for your first playthrough.

    “But it’s always optional. We would never take stuff out of the core game and only have it in DLC.”

    Eh?

    No really what? So Protheans are important to the lore of the Mass Effect Universe. This Prothean is’nt though, the one from the dead race that was a lynch pin of the first game? Those Protheans?

    ok. Alright then.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    Hahahaha. Holy damage control, Batman.

    “But because a character like Garrus just has great voice acting and animation, and a personality that’s really well-written”

    I think the over-emphasis here means he doesn’t believe it himself. Which is kind of a relief, because otherwise “wow”. I think he does believe that his own customers are apparently children though.

    People know what’s in the DLC, and they hate you for trying to exploit their patronage. You can try to pretend like they loathe you because they don’t understand, but ultimately they loathe you because you’re chasing the quickest buck there is.

    If Bioware really wanted to build a community around their games, they’d be adding mod support instead of ridiculously priced DLC which apparently is of completely no consequence to the game at all. If it’s so inconsequential – Why make it? Why sell it?

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Aimless

    Having occasionally read the BioWare forums, this headline is chilling.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    “If Bioware really wanted to build a community around their games, they’d be adding mod support”

    You can’t do that because of the TOS between Epic and the developers. SO even if they wanted to they can’t, its not an engine they have rights to give to the community.

    @1

    I agree people blow out of proportion the Prothean story has ended with ME1 and then you find out what happened to them in ME2. Their story has ended. This DLC is just a Kasumi in a shape of a prothean. He adds a little back story but he wont be crucial to it.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Just-Joe

    So if it suck, it’s our fault?

    #5 3 years ago
  6. OrbitMonkey

    Why do gamers feel so over-entitled? *reads headline* Oh I see…

    They actually believe it don’t they? Lol ;-)

    #6 3 years ago
  7. osric90

    Okay, I’ll add this to my curriculum. Will help a lot actually.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Hybridpsycho

    That’s why their games are going down hill.

    Don’t listen to your fans, the fans who normally raise their voice are only the real whiny ones…oh yeah they’re also a really small part of the actual fanbase.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. revolting

    This goes some way to explaining why, over the years, the quality of writing has slipped from “good” to “fan fiction”. The vast majority of fans aren’t qualified to lead their way out of a paper bag, let alone dictate the direction of supposedly complex interactive fiction.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. absolutezero

    So who the fuck were they listening to when they made Dragon Age 2? Im pretty sure no one wanted that.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. unacomn

    He’s right. Think of the Prothean like the Martian Manhunter. Remember how all his plot lines from the Justice League cartoon were optional and had no importance to the main story… oh wait, that’s not true.

    I get needing to work on DLC so they can keep their jobs and make a profit, but , please, be honest, otherwise you’re starting to look like a douche.

    #11 3 years ago

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