News

BioWare prefers 'multi-region' to "really loaded term" of 'open world' for DA: Inquisition
Posted: 11.09.2013 14:10 by Simon Priest Comments: 23
Why wouldn't BioWare wield the term 'open world' like some kind of flaming sword an Inquisitor might swing about in Dragon Age: Inquisition? Well, because "everyone immediately thinks of Skyrim".

Instead, explains lead designer Mike Laidlaw, BioWare is describing their third full Dragon Age instalment as a "multi-region game," because of the "extremely large" regions we'll adventure in.

Players, as the Inquisitor, will be "traveling across this chunk of the continent" that BioWare has included.

“Open world” I think is a really loaded term, because everyone immediately thinks of Skyrim and assumes everything will be exactly like Skyrim. In our case, there are extremely large regions you can explore. It’s a multi-region game, which means that you’ll traveling with a world map," BioWare's Laidlaw explained to RPS.

"You’re traveling across this chunk of the continent in which the game is set. And each of the regions is purposeful. It has a reason you would be brought here. It ties back to the story, or at least to the overall themes of the game. “These are my enemies and they’re very active here. I should find out why.”

"That kind of stuff. That means that they aren’t necessarily laden with story, because story is the antithesis of discovery, right? It tends to lead you along. But when you’re discovering things, you should feel like they’re part of the overall game and not random. I would say that it has elements of open world for sure, but it’s something closer to the feel we had in the Baldur’s Gate games or in Origins, even, where it’s larger areas, big spaces, and the chance for you to move around and see a wide variety of different terrains and locales and so on."

Each of the regions are "quite dense," with plenty to be stumbled upon by the player and their party.

"...the goal for me is that when you arrive in an area, you should be able to spin the camera and see a bunch of cool stuff that makes you say, “What’s that?” And you start heading in that direction to identify it. And then over time, there can be reasons, or maybe you’re doing something for a companion or pursuing a lead or something like that, that will bring you back to spaces. Of course, the final stage, then, is things you’ve opened up as new opportunities because the Inquisition has had a presence here," continued Laidlaw.

Sorry there's no "seven-story epic dungeon," but BioWare are writing side adventures to "make sense" in context of the environment it occupies. "If the area is full of bandits and smugglers, you can expect a lot of caves and grottoes and stuff where they’ve tucked their goods away. To me, you shouldn’t evaluate just a single cave."

"The goal for me is that we create an experience. If I feel like, “Oh, wow, this was an elven stronghold one day,” and I keep finding runes and all these things, they all should incorporate and turn into a larger experience where the area and the location is helping me see and experience something that builds up over time."

RPS asked an interesting question; will 'the cave' return for a cameo? "No, I don’t expect that cave will return. I think we’ve probably used it enough," joked the lead designer, referring to the very oft used cave template from Dragon Age 2 where it would be tweaked in various ways throughout the entire game.

Check out the full interview between Mike Laidlaw and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Dragon Age: Inquisition releases on PC, Xbox One and PS4 in 2014. It's powered using DICE's Frostbite engine 3.

Game advertisements by <a href="http://www.game-advertising-online.com" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.

Comments

By The_Tingler (SI Core Veteran) on Sep 11, 2013
The_Tingler
I'm quite happy with this. It seems closer to Baldur's Gate where there would be big chunks of land you could fully explore then just reach the edge and travel to the next one.

Also, I don't want it to be open-world. I've only got time for one open-world RPG per year and 2014's going to be The Witcher 3. I don't want every RPG to be open.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Sep 11, 2013
SirRoderick
Loaded term? Is that a new way of saying it has a decent definition?
By Mindrax (SI Core) on Sep 11, 2013
Mindrax
I want the game to be humongous. And i want Co-op for the campaign :)
By LukeDion1987 (SI Core Member) on Sep 11, 2013
LukeDion1987
Co-op for Dragon Age? Oh God please NO!! ;-)
By Mindrax (SI Core) on Sep 11, 2013
Mindrax
YEEEEEEEES!
One lead player and the rest as companions :)
It would be EPIC!!!! :)
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Sep 11, 2013
SirRoderick
I want to murder you Mindrax...just...fair warning
By danfreeman (SI Elite) on Sep 11, 2013
danfreeman
Don`t give me ideas Sir R,this game better not have any mp components,i want to make MY story and no one else`s.
By Chosen_One (SI Elite) on Sep 11, 2013
Chosen_One
When did BioWare listened to their fans?
By Mindrax (SI Core) on Sep 11, 2013
Mindrax
You can stand in line good people, i will deal with you infidels later :)
By LukeDion1987 (SI Core Member) on Sep 12, 2013
LukeDion1987
There will be no MP in DAI, and if I'm wrong... MP elements will be the way it was in ME3.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Sep 16, 2013
herodotus
Sounds good to me...but a cheapish.
@SirRoderick
No talk of 'murder' or even 'rape, pillage and mayhem'...unless I can video it all.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Sep 13, 2013
FoolWolf
Well, multiregions are fine with me. That way we can load the snow in one go instead of it suddenly starting to snow over a transport area of five metres ;)

Still not convinced of this title. It just feels - nope, you dropped the ball and someone else took it, ran away with it and you are sorting the socks. Would be great if I'm wrong but I didn't even finish the first quarter of ME3. The games just doesn't feel that fun to play anymore. First sign for me was when I prefered ME2 over first ME since it was an action shooter and pretty dumbed down but the mechanics was right. The item handling, skills, classes etc just didn't feel right in ME IMHO.
DA - well, first was OK, 2:nd was just a joke. Want me to get excited for no 6?

Well, try harder ;)
By The_Tingler (SI Core Veteran) on Sep 13, 2013
The_Tingler
FoolWolf - I must admit I'm having trouble following what you're talking about!

You say you didn't finish ME3, but you preferred ME2 to ME and ME3 is basically the same as the second game!

"DA - well, first was OK, 2:nd was just a joke. Want me to get excited for no 6?"

Six? What?!

They've acknowledged they utterly screwed the pooch with DA2 and with Inquisition they're simply taking their time, which is all they needed to do to make DA2 better really. I'm excited, but I still have to see how combat works on PC. If it's not tactical enough and too button-mashy I'll be turned right off.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Sep 13, 2013
FoolWolf
My fault for typing before enough coffee have netered the system...
I don't blame you for calling me on that less than stellar post ;)

Well, yes, I did prefer the ME2 over ME, but with ME3 - I was bored for that kind of game once more. Sorry for confusing that one.

Six games, Me, ME2, ME3, DA:O, DA2 and DA3, that are more or less BioWare's entire line of games since GG and KOTOR games. They do tend to be very similar in how they work, play, and also a the social parts of the game. I kinda thought quicker than I typed and forgot to mention this line of thinking. Only 2 of them have held some kind of true enjoyment, but none lasting - hence it is a tough to get excited for a new one.

Well, as far as I have seen on the conversation of how they screwed up DA2, they are still feeling that a lot of people liked many things that I think is the biggest part of screwing the game. Combat being one - they will try to make a sort of mix here between DA:O and DA2. Not sure that will work out for the best.
Fleshing out the world, is very much needed IMHO, since not only was the fighting boring due to the same setup in every fight, but the number of opponants weren't that many to begin with. Made for a lack lustre combat setup at all. This is the same in DA:O, not enough different types of enemies makes it rather dull.

I think I didn't mess it all up here again but man, this is a bad post-day for me. Urgh - I need weekend!
By Chosen_One (SI Elite) on Sep 14, 2013
Chosen_One
Oh come on Wolf! 1st ME was better than its sequels in 100 times! It was a TRUE BioWare RPG. And then they were sold to EA...thats when the shit stats to come.

Consider one more thing about your opinion on BioWare, that the founders of this company left the studio.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Sep 14, 2013
SirRoderick
No I preffered ME 2 over 1 as well. The first game was seriously MUCH worse in combat, which is the main portion of the game still.
By Chosen_One (SI Elite) on Sep 14, 2013
Chosen_One
Oh tell me what was worse? No clip reloading oh NO!
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Sep 14, 2013
SirRoderick
Clearly you just want to go crusading little One, I aint gonna give you more fuel ;)
By Mindrax (SI Core) on Sep 14, 2013
Mindrax
Give them all a cookie or five :)
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Sep 14, 2013
nocutius
The combat sucked in all ME games anyways so it doesn't matter :).
Boring cover based shooters, for me they were 99% about the story and your companions.
By Chosen_One (SI Elite) on Sep 14, 2013
Chosen_One
Apparently Noc, Roderick is more found of shooting with cover (I find that Gears of Wars was enough for such stuff), I mean, to like ME 2 over ME 1 because he thinks that combat is worse in ME 1 compared to ME 2, it is a BioWare game!!! It was always about of storytelling and companions, and combat is not so important, I personally find that ME 1 combat were better, but thats IMHO. (Well at least in times of ME 1 they were the best RPG studio.)... O_o I cant understand that point...dont be a simple hamsters, big corporations trying to feed us with shit, gamers need to be more cautious considering that trend. Story sucked so bad in ME 2 (Baby reapers and some strange companion missions) and ME 3 (Colorful ending and whole logic of this part is broken), RPG system was almost destroyed (Armor in ME 1 was like a classic armor of all RPG's).

Find the original script of ME. And you will find that it should be better in all aspect than we had. EA changed it, and give the scripting to some woman, who don't know the fuck about such complex story.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Sep 14, 2013
FoolWolf
Well, I hold BioWare as a great studio around the BG time up to first KOTOR - from there on - they just went downhill as far as I'm concerned. The story,. the script, the companions - if you played enough games like me - there is not much new to be had in them. They don't challenge themselves and start repeating the engine and conversation setup.

The games are despite story, very combat orientated - and as Nocutius mentioned, not really good in any of them, least in ME2 - you could pass them fairly quickly. ME1 had a rifle guy swirl around his sniper rifle like a blind guy on a carousel. Not very likely and not very fun.

You are of course entitled to your opinion - but you won't sway me with your line of reasoning. And I never ever go as far as to say that just because this or that company made something good - everything they touch turns to gold. Because quite simply - none will last on the top.

The deal with the founders to quit, could still turn out for the better. I believe they had a good run and was starting to grow satisfied pushing envelopes instead of pushing ideas and concepts. ;) (I hope they will get hungry and do a smaller independent thing on kick-starter or similar later on)
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Sep 16, 2013
herodotus
BioWare=Has Been. It's all downhill from here.
They really need to do something to redeem themselves.