Dragon Age 3: Inquisition – first pre-production screenshot revealed during Bioware talk

Thursday, 15th November 2012 14:31 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The first pre-production shot of Dragon Age 3: Inquisition was shown last night during the Bradford Animation Festival, where Bioware art and animation director Neil Thompson gave a talk on the progression of video game art.

The screen shown was snapped by an attendee, and posted on the Bioware forums.

“That is Dragon Age: Inquisition,” Thompson said as the slide was shown. “It’s the first time anyone has seen a frame of it outside BioWare studios”

Eurogamer, which was in attendance, said Thompson went on to discuss why Bioware switched from using the Eclipse engine to Frostbite 2 with Dragon Age 3.

“Mass Effect was done on Unreal of course,” he said. “Dragon Age was done on the proprietary engine Eclipse. I think anyone who played Dragon Age 2 would agree that engine was starting to creak a little bit by the time that was released.

“Obviously Frostbite is the Battlefield engine built by DICE. It’s a beautiful, beautiful engine. And what we’ve found is an improvement with DA3, is the artists who were really battling with the Eclipse engine have just embraced Frostbite. The work they’re doing now is stunning. I think the screenshot I showed earlier is pretty stunning. That’s unusual for pre-production. Usually you don’t get to that kind of quality until a week before gold master.

“It makes my job easier because then it’s all about discussing the aesthetic and what you want to achieve. When you’re a character artist or an environment artist you’re focusing on a small aspect of the greater whole of the game. As an art director you’re concerned about the whole, the frame and everything it contains and how everything sits and the consistency. An engine like Frostbite allows you to focus more on that rather than the technological challenges of just getting the damn thing to run.”

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition is slated for an autumn release in 2013.



  1. Maximum Payne

    They should have made Dragon Age series more ”epic” like Elder scrolls in terms of scope and length( like first Dragon Age) instead of this sequels every two year like Mass Effect.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. YoungZer0

    Please keep the art-direction from the second game.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GwynbleiddiuM

    BioWare always had a talented art department, so I’m not worried about that part. Recently my concerns are about the game itself, the deviation from Dragon Age: Origins to Dragon Age 2, mainly. How insignificant and inferior both character design and story was compared to Origins. My concern is that, I wish they could revive the series into epic proportions again. Frostbite and Art can do wonders, but story and gameplay needs more attention, right now more than anything else.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. TheWulf


    I can’t agree with that. Origins was fairly dire, too, and looking back you’ll find that most people tend to realise that it was only the last hour or two that was actually any good in Origins. And that was then further marred by the effing dwarf tunnels, which you had to be some sort of crazed sadist to enjoy.

    Between the moment the game starts, up until that last hour, there are only a few moments of brilliance. The rest of it is exceedingly dull and pretty much copypasta and trite fantasy nonsense, the same thing we’ve seen in every boring fantasy game, Baldur’s Gate ad nauseum. It wasn’t really interesting or compelling.

    Going by their history, I don’t actually know if they have what it takes to tell a good fantasy story. They seem better at sci-fi, but only by a little bit. But when you compare them to, oh, say… Obsidian? Well, the truth of the matter becomes more obvious.

    And there are some brilliant people at Obsidian. Mask of the Betrayer was perhaps the best example of how you do a fantasy game without making it painfully generic, and that was D&D! Origins wasn’t D&D, so it had no excuse for being as painfully generic as it was.

    I’m sorry, but immature sex scenes that smacked of a half-arsed Witcher, cussing dwarves which also smacked of a half-arsed Witcher, and blood on one’s armour and sword did nothing for me. I’d much rather it was less generic and actually had some character of its own.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. roadkill

    I loved every part of Origins. It was incredible. DA2? Not so much. But it was not a bad game. DA3? Looks and sounds good so far. You should also read the books guys. They’re good to very good. I enjoyed Asunder a lot.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. GwynbleiddiuM

    @TheWulf mate, if you think I liked Origins because at some point you become physically intimate with a character or you had blood spatters on your armor then you are wrong. I understand if you didn’t like the story as much as I did but sex and violence are not the reason to like or dislike a game. Although I really liked the fact that you could have a sense of relationship with people you travel with, they could take a liking into you or dislike you for what you were. Was all of the bits of Origins great? certainly not. were there dull moments that you wanted to just get over with them? certainly were.

    But to me Dragon Age: Origins could be a tale of a person that become anything to reach his or her goal, which was getting the job done and stop the blight. That person could be a selfless hero, or ruthless merciless jackass and still go on and be a great influence on the world around him (or her).

    It was certainly epic, that’s why I love to play it, mainly. It’s an epic tale of endurance and self-preservation, or a tale of a person that stops at nothing and there’s nothing and no one that they would sacrifice to get what they want to reach that.

    I do not like the whole dwarven leadership crisis part either, and there were certainly better ways to present the proving grounds.

    My sole interest and love for the origins is because of the “Order of the Grey Wardens”, an order that sacrificed everything to preserve plain of the living. They bled and died, they claimed no reward for their sacrifices, they endured and after all their history and all the sacrifices they made, they’ve been brought before the people of Ferelden as the villains. Even then, after the betrayal and abandoned to be slaughtered, they went back to stop the blight, and nothing more.

    Of course that is my opinion, that’s what intrigues me, a tale of hardship and endurance, a tale of sacrifice without the slightest expectation of reward or redemption. Knowing what you’re up against suspecting that you as a grey warden will probably wont live to see the day after the battle with the archdemon even if you succeed. Knowing there’s nothing in life for you, but plenty for others you loved, for your people, for the people around the world, no matter their origin, their race or their affiliations, you’d still go forth to accomplish your task. They even knew at some point in their lives they have to take that final journey to the Deep Roards, battling until they fall.

    Well, I love a bleak story, not all the stories should have happy endings, even if the protagonist manages to put an end to the evil. There’s no happily ever after for a Grey Warden.

    #6 2 years ago

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