Bioware has released a developer diary for Dragon Age 2 which should prove of interest to Train2Game students be they a games developer, games designer or games artist and animator, because it almost contains everything!
The developer diary not only features Executive Producer Mark Darrah, Art Director Matthew Goldman and Lead Designer Mike Laidlaw talking about the concepts and ideas behind Dragon Age 2, but it also features gameplay, concept models and even some nice looking animated videos. Train2Game artists will be especially interested in the latter!
The Dragon Age 2 developer diary begins with Executive Producer Mike Darrah stating that meetings about the game had begun in 2009 before Dragon Age: Origins had even been released. This cumulated in an impressive looking animated first build which the team say contains many of the elements that feature in the opening of Dragon Age 2.
The developers also say that there were ideas they had in these opening stages that in the end didn’t make the cut. For example, Art Director Matthew Goldman says he wanted protagonist Hawke to be a he lycanthrope that tasted his own blood and howled like a werewolf. Obviously, this idea hasn’t made it into Dragon Age 2!
The idea of cutting out more outlandish concepts from a game is something that games industry consultant Nicholas Lovell discussed during an interview with Train2Game.
Lead Designer Mike Laidlaw also talks us through one of the main changes for Dragon Age 2, where choices the player makes will have affects right away, rather than at the end of the game:
“Where Origins really shone by having this huge epilogue with thousands of variations based on the choices you made, we’ve instead moved that into the gameplay.”
“People you have interacted with at the beginning of the game are going to have their situations profoundly affected by their interactions with Hawke – your character. You re-interact with them. You see how that worked out. So we believe [this] be our most interactive game to date.”
The team also discuss how they’re aware that some of the changes they’ve made are big, but they believe that it will change Dragon Age 2 for the better.
Interested Train2Game students can watch the Dragon Age 2 developer diary below, courtesy of GameSpot UK.
If that isn’t enough Dragon Age 2 action for you Train2Game, you can check out the extended trailer in this Train2Game blog post from August.
Long time Train2Game blog readers will know that we’ve previously been massive advocates of Dragon Age: Origins, even going so far as to say that it’s a game that all Train2Game students should appreciate. The sheer open nature of the game means that the game designers needed to put a lot of effort into writing the different outcomes, while game developers and game artist and animators would have worked on parts of the game that the majority of players may not have even seen!
Dragon Age: Origins also ended up with a lot of game mods, and as Train2Game students will know modding can provide great practice when it comes to using your skills. Perhaps Dragon Age 2 will come with the same opportunities.
Dragon Age 2 is scheduled for release for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on March 11th 2011.
So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Dragon Age 2 developer diary? Does it provide you with a good insight into how producing a game as massive as Dragon Age 2 works? And what do you think about the changes that have been made to the game since Origins? Has the game perhaps been tailored to a console audience?
You can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.