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Monday, October 16, 2006

BioWare on Mass Effect

In this area as well, we’ve gone back to the original reasons why players like this feature.  What kind of character do you want to be?  What’s amazing about your character when he or she is in battle on some hostile alien world, or during tough personal negotiations with the most powerful officials in the galaxy?  These are the things we wanted to let players have fun with, but without having to deal with the complicated stats and exceptions that you find in rules systems that were originally meant for other media (like pen-and-paper roleplaying). 
-- GamerSquad''s exclusive Mass Effect Q&A / hold an exclusive Q&A session with Corey Hudson, project director of Mass Effect at developer BioWare

This is a neat interview, but I bring this up mostly to point out that I think it's a missing factor for interactive storytelling in general - customization. Customization is a brilliant way to bring the player-reader into the process and make them feel in control. Not just text based games, mind you, I think even formats like the one Shenmue took could learn from this as well.

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Anonymous said...

They're taking the emergent approach too I guess, but the meat of it is in the social AI algorithms, and I honestly doubt they've got the heat there. But thats just from my experience with Oblivion. Thats also me hoping, because the UI they use isn't too far from a design I'm considering.

Josh said...

Well, one of KOTOR's strengths was it's core story - although I guess one could compare it structurally to Japanese RPG's as being generally a linear path punctuated with plot elements.