Dragon Age Interview: Of Betrayal & Blight

Written by Joe Martin

May 16, 2009 | 09:46

Tags: #blight #dragon-age #dragon-age-origins #games-for-windows-live #gfwl #rpg

Companies: #bioware #electronic-arts

Dragon Age: Origins Interview – Lust

bit-tech: You mentioned in your presentation earlier that the main themes of the game were violence, lust...

Mike Laidlaw: And betrayal, yeah.

BT: Right, so how prominently have you built these ideas into the game? Are they in everything players do? Should players always be worried about betrayal, for example?

ML: Yes, definitely. To do it any other way would, I think, would be awful. Especially with lust too, because sexuality is this big kind of bugga-boo and if you just tack it on then it really feels tacked on and horribly chintzy. You know what I mean?

No, if you want to make a game that hits those major notes then you really want to make sure you do it well. Players can use violence to solve most situations, but we always want them to ask if they should be worried about betrayal and people turning on them. Certainly I think that it’s a strong key to make a game that, thematically, has something to hang its hat on.

Dragon Age Interview: Of Betrayal & Blight Dragon Age Interview: Of Lust and Sexuality
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This is what we built and we made conscious decisions when we were building it.

BT: Was there any reluctance to deal with the issue of lust though? With Mass Effect it wasn’t really an issue but it was made into one by some parties.

ML: It was made into an issue, absolutely. To my mind that kind of content is not something that you should back away from unless you can defend it, you know what I mean? If it’s in there and it’s compelling and audiences say “I really wasn’t expecting that in a videogame” then the question for me is; why not? Why can it not be an adult medium?

BT: Sure, as long as it has a reason to be there...

Dragon Age Interview: Of Betrayal & Blight Dragon Age Interview: Of Lust and Sexuality
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ML: As long as it has a reason to be there, that’s exactly it. Let’s have a point to it and let’s have it further the story and, in the case of the Mass Effect one with Shepherd and Liara where they had been thrown together and he rescued her and there was that beautiful moment with the almost-kiss on the ship...there’s a proper culmination and a not-all-that-sordid scene. Definitely not sordid here in Europe anyway – I hear you guys are doubly rude over here.

BT: Games like The Witcher, you mean?

ML: Exactly! The Witcher really blew us out of the water. The Mass Effect thing really caught peoples' imagination and made them think “oh my god, are these things that we thought were for children really sexual now?" And that’s an interesting thing to note; that what we’re finally discovering is that games are not just for children now.

Sure, there are some games that are for kids, but I love that we have this self-regulating industry that rates games and says whether a game is for everyone or for adults only. We’re targeting in the same way movies do.
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