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Chroniken der Dunklen Brut (DLC) Chroniken der Dunklen Brut (DLC)
Dragon Age II Dragon Age II
      Interviews Interviews
      Previews Previews
      Reviews Reviews
Dragon Age: Inquisition Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Origins Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening (Addon) Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening (Addon)
Leliana's Song (DLC) Leliana's Song (DLC)
Rückkehr nach Ostagar (DLC) Rückkehr nach Ostagar (DLC)
Witch Hunt (DLC) Witch Hunt (DLC)

Seite / Datum Leseprobe
Englisch 1UP
1UP: So my first story question is, what led to the decision to make it focus on a named protagonist, Hawke, instead of continuing the Warden's story?

ML: It's funny, if you actually look at it, the Warden's name is Aeducan or Amell or so on and so on. That already happened, but to put so much emphasis on the last name, and why we decided to do that, really was because we wanted to achieve something with Dragon Age 2. And specifically, what we wanted to do was, as lead writer David Gaider comments, "kick over the sandcastle." The endstate of Origins was that the world had been saved: "good job, we stopped the Blight, and we're good now, right? Everything good, right?" And that state is not one that inherently interesting -- it's not one that creates a sense of drama or tension or expectation of what's coming next. It did a great job of encapsulating that story, and it certainly left enough danglers for the future, but what we wanted to do was to take conventions and elements of the Dragon Age world that people knew and understood, and let people know that our intent is to change and evolve this world. That we won't let it stagnate and become a "oh, it'll take place 20 years later and it will be the same with another Blight."

Dragon Age 2, by having a main character, a character who gets swept into the events that precipitate this change, needed a storytelling mechanic that challenged us and asked us to try something new. But also allowed us to show how the world changed without it being some sort of footnote in history. It allowed us to show that it wasn't just some grand conspiracy or just something that we decided to do, but that it was something that involved a person, and had an intensely personal element to it.
Englisch Pixologic
The team wanted to tell a specific story for Dragon Age 2, around an important character within the Dragon Age universe; the Champion of Kirkwall. With this character being such an important part of the game, we wanted to make sure that he had a unique, recognizable identity. Since we are in a fantasy setting the character started with a Mage background, but we wanted to avoid the stereotypical caster role, running around in a colorful robe conjuring magic missiles out of thin air. Additionally, being a mage in the world of Dragon Age is not a favorable thing. We wanted to show that this character had to be a badass survivor that could handle the constant oppression an apostate can encounter -- a rebel and revolutionary so to speak -- who can handle himself on the battlefield with more than just spells and trickery but also a staff with a blade at one end to give him an “edge” during the inevitable melee encounters. We felt that if we imbued the Champion of Kirkwall with elements of a lone wolf, it would help identify his unique, rebellious character. The lone wolf displays strength in solidarity but is also a figurehead who is quite capable of leading a pack. You can see these wolven references in the darkened color pallet, the elements of a fur pelt around the neck, and a wolf-inspired staff. From there we added strong, simple, angular shapes (following our new art direction), borrowing elements from the new Darkspawn as trophies signifying his success in surviving the attack on his home town of Lothering. We showcased the strength he gathers from his bloodline with the blood marks on his face and arm, which we presented in the “Rise to Power” trailer. From there we then designed Warrior and Rogue variations of the Champion, with an emphasis for each version on showcasing the special abilities of their class. You can instantly see the difference between the classes once you start up the game and dive into the combat of the prologue.
Englisch Gamasutra
So from a technology standpoint, how much do you guys share with Mass Effect? Anything?

ML: We probably share expertise more than we share technology. Being on different engines results in a difficulty in sharing -- I mean, even legal difficulties in sharing tech. But, in terms of design and philosophies, and vision, and how we communicate stuff to the teams, there's a lot of coherence there between the two projects.

So there's an awareness that Mass Effect has done really good stuff. They're two floors down, I can go talk to them. And even getting to the point where we bring Mass Effect people to play DAII, and they will bring us down to play Mass Effect. And the end result is, I think, the games are stronger because you have such a different viewpoint, and they come in and will give amazing and incisive feedback.
Englisch Guardian
Talk us through Dragon Age II's framed narrative structure.
It's one that has been used before, but the idea of the framed narrative is that one story is telling another story. It really hasn't been done a ton in gaming, although it has shown up occasionally. What we wanted to do was to try and build a game that covered a much longer span of time than normal – a whole decade of history.
Deutsch Eurogamer
Eurogamer: Bei den Begleitern gibt es eine Anzeige, die darstellt, wie sehr sie „Freund" oder „Rivale" sind. Wie sehen die jeweiligen Konsequenzen aus?

Fernando Melo: Auch hier haben wir eine kleine, subtile Verbesserung. Ihr könnt diesmal keinen eurer Begleiter verlieren, aber sie müssen euch nicht notwendigerweise mögen. Die Story, das, was passieren kann, bekommt dadurch noch mehr Tiefe. Ich glaube sogar, dass die Beziehungen zu den Gruppenmitgliedern noch interessanter ist als das in Origins der Fall war und es gibt auch mehr Dialoge. Ich denke auch, dass das Gameplay dadurch viel humorvoller, ernsthafter und interessanter wird. Ähnlich wie in Origins könnt ihr jemandem zum Freund oder Rivalen machen, aber dennoch die Romanzen für die jeweiligen Charaktere freischalten. Noch wichtiger ist, dass man somit spezielle Fähigkeiten oder Zaubersprüche in ihrem jeweiligen Spezialisierungs-Skillbaum freischalten kann. Jeder Begleiter hat eine einzigartige Spezialisierung.

Außerdem wollten wir noch etwas anderes sicherstellen. In Origins kann man beispielsweise zwei Krieger nehmen und sie letztendlich auf genau die gleiche Art und Weise spezialisieren. Jetzt fühlt sich aber jeder Charakter sehr einzigartig an, weil es mindestens einen Spezialisierungs-Skillbaum gibt, der nur für den jeweiligen Charakter gedacht ist. Hier finden sich dann spezielle Fähigkeiten oder Zaubersprüche, die nur dann zur Verfügung stehen, wenn sie als Freund oder Rivale gelten.
Deutsch Eurogamer
Fernando Melo: Ehrlich gesagt haben wir eine ganze Menge Feedback dazu erhalten, wirklich viel Feedback. Bei Origins waren wir der Meinung, dass es die richtige Entscheidung war. Aber besonders im Hinblick auf die Art der Story, die wir mit Dragon Age 2 erzählen wollten, erkannten wir zu Beginn der Entwicklung bei Betrachtung wirklich dramatischer Szenen, in denen der Charakter nicht vertont war, dass es wie ein Bruch des Dramas erschien. Das sieht man auch in Origins. Man hat zum Beispiel zwei Charaktere, die gegeneinander kämpfen oder miteinander sprechen, die Kamera ist auf eure Figur gerichtet und er oder sie steht einfach nur da. Es passiert nicht wirklich viel in der Szene.
Deutsch Gamona
DAF: Nun, da ihr euch beim story-telling stark auf Hawke konzentriert, welche Auswirkung wird dort die Klasse haben? Ein Templar würde es wohl kaum toll finden, von einem Magier Befehle entgegen nehmen zu müssen.

ML: Die Klasse wird einige Auswirkungen haben, einschließlich wie die Begleiter auf dich reagieren.
Englisch Playstation Blog
JR: Just watching the demo, you can clearly see a graphical fidelity difference between Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II. It’s also different stylistically. How are you aiming to make Dragon Age II stand out in the high fantasy realm?

ML: We’re picking the overall aesthetic so it looks like part of a singular unit. The art director’s takeaway to people’s reaction to Origins is that while it had moments of clear design, it didn’t have that throughout the whole game. Our goal was to even it out and make it so that every moment in the game looks like every other moment in the game, stylistically speaking.
Deutsch Eurogamer
Fernando Melo: Tatsächlich sind es alle Inhalte, die für den Grauen Wächter gedacht sind, ihr könnt also auch aus Awakening, Golems of Amgarrak oder Witch Hunt importieren und jede dieser Entscheidungen wird weiterbestehen. Ob all diese Dinge in Dragon Age 2 auftauchen? Auf keinen Fall. Es gibt auch jede Menge Sachen für zukünftigen Content. Aber wenn ihr all diese Abenteuer gespielt habt, solltet ihr zum Beispiel definitiv am letzten – Witch Hunt – festhalten, weil es der ist, den ihr gerne importieren wollen würdet. Aber selbst abgesehen davon bieten wir zusätzlich zum Import drei vorgefertigte Welten an. Drei historische Versionen dessen, was passiert ist. Und das ist ein toller Start für jemanden, der keinen Spielstand hat, oder für Spieler... seien wir mal ehrlich, Origins war ein massives Spiel, nicht jeder hat es mehrfach durchgespielt. Selbst wenn man nur einen Spielstand hat und die verschiedenen Reaktionen sehen will, könnte man eine dieser vorgefertigten Welten ausprobieren und sehen, wie die Unterschiede ausfallen.
Englisch SFX
SFX: And what are your favourite parts of the DA world?
Darrah: In DA2 I think the truth is that Aveline is now my favourite character, although I have told others it was Isabella. Hmm. In many ways Aveline is the toughest character we’ve ever written, she’s got iron in her soul! I like that uncompromising willingness to be a defender, to do what’s necessary to protect what she’s needs to protect. She is not a romance option for the player but there are things with her later… she can come out of her shell to some degree…! That’s one advantage of the passage of time. By the end of the game her husband’s been dead for 10 years.
Deutsch DAfans
DAF: Bei Dragon Age: Origins habt ihr vorher den Charakter Generator veröffentlicht. Werdet ihr das, oder etwas Ähnliches auch bei Dragon Age II machen?

ML: Wir haben bis jetzt kein Vorabrelease des Generators angekündigt, nein, aber es wird noch die eine oder andere Überraschung vor Release geben.
Englisch Games on Net
02.02.2011 What was the design rationale behind making the main character a human named Hawke, and was it inspired by the success of Mass Effect's similar approach?

Mike: It largely came out of the story we wanted to tell. For Dragon Age II, we're taking a tighter focus and looking at the life of one man or woman who had a significant impact on the world. A big part of developing that character, for us, was bringing family fully into the story, and so as the story development progressed, we realized that due to both circumstance and types of storytelling we wanted to do, human was the best possible choice.
Englisch GameZone
Ein Interview mit David Gaider über Romanzen und Charakterentwicklung in Dragon Age II!

GZ: What have you learned from the feedback on the romances from the first game that you’ve now taken to the second game?

DG: I don’t know, but there’s a lot of feedback for us. I’ve done a number of our romances, going back to Baldur’s Gate II. I always like to try something new. Origins was really quite in depth with the characters and the romances in particular. From what we get from the fans, there were a lot of people that the romances were more important to them than the story, which is great. It’s very gratifying to hear that. There’s only so much we can do, but I think trying out some different things like DAII takes place over a large span of time, and I always found that the romances can be a bit strange and that they don’t grow organically. It’s sort of a situation where you’re in this life-or-death adventure, you’re comrades that have been thrown together and passion springs out of that. It was nice to get the opportunity to have a romance that took place over years as opposed to a month at best. That was interesting to try, until I learned.
Englisch GameZone
DG: The last year with Dragon Age, a concept art Morrigan was out of this world. In terms of design, when it translated to the consoles and PC version, people have wondered what happened. How do you feel when your concept art is taken from grade A and then it’s down to grade B for the consoles and the PCs? There were some people that wondered what happened to the younger, more naïve version of Morrigan, that has now turned into a sexier, more appealing one.

MG: Obviously that fills us with a desire for revenge to do better next time, and align the technology and the design with the art better so that we’ve designed what we intended is shown in the final product. There were a lot of instances where the thing we wanted didn’t come out for whatever various reasons. It’s learning as a team to better navigate those challenges together. Instead of trying to design something on your own and then everything you try and do requires 10 more people to help you actually make it come alive. Basically, working within that limitation and making that a strength instead of a road block.
Englisch Gamezone
Dragon Age II’s Mike Laidlaw Discusses Downloadable Content:

I never rule anything out. Dragon Age III obviously is not confirmed, but on a philosophical level I like what Dragon Age II is saying to the players. It’s saying: this game is about the world. You’re not necessarily importing your character, because your character very likely might be dead from Origins? You’re not necessarily importing a corpse. What you are importing is the effect that they had. When you look at even something as fundamental as the naming, Dragon Age, which is literally 100 years of time in this world, (the Blessed Age was the one beforehand, just for the trivia buffs) it is essentially saying this is about how this world changes and evolves. This is what I find satisfying about Dragon Age II. Even if Hawke never made an appearance in it, it would be very easy to have Hawke’s role in the world have something that has repercussions in III.
Englisch Gamezone
DG: Are you guys pursuing the same type of DLC where it was character-based, such as Leliana’s Song or Witch Hunt? Or are you focusing on an “Awakenings” type overarching expansion?

ML: I can’t tell you officially. I think the thing I can say with confidence is that I probably wouldn’t do another Leliana’s Song. I thought it was really cool, and a lot of other people really liked it, but I think Leliana could have been a stronger experience if it had been Leliana and your warden, right? The character you had invested so many hours into, simply because it helped tie things together. So Witch Hunt was a stronger experience in that respect. What I’d like to do is add into the story that you have, rather than adding on. It’s not like an adjunct, it’s more of an expansion of the experience. Regardless if whether that’s Awakening size or Leliana’s Song size, I would probably go a little bigger than a Leliana’s Song. Then, try to integrate something new. That’s part of telling a story that’s 10 years long is that there’s some dead space where it’s not as intriguing. We can say, “well, what was happening in year four,” and slot in anything that it was about. There was some stuff that was happening there that Varick just happened to leave out the first time.
Deutsch Mark Darrah Interview
Ein Interview beim Bioware Open House Ich sitze hier mit Mark Darrah, Executive Producer, der bereit ist, meine Fragen zu beantworten. Haben Sie

vor, noch mehr Spiele in der Welt von Thedas zu veröffentlichen?
Deutsch Mike Laidlaw Interview
Interview mit Mike Laidlaw beim Bioware Open House Ich bin von und sitze hier mit Mike Laidlaw, Lead Designer von Dragon Age II, dem ich eingie Fragen stellen werde.

Mike Laidlaw: Dagegen ist nichts einzuwenden.
Deutsch Matt Goldman Interview
Interview beim Bioware Open House mit Matt Goldman Ich sitze hier mit Matt Goldman, Lead Artist von Dragon Age II.

Matt Goldman: Art Director.
Verkommt der Kampf in Dragon Age 2 zum Action-RPG ohne Tiefgang? BioWares David Silverman erklärt im Video-Interview die drei Möglichkeiten, Kämpfe nach Euren Vorlieben zu gestalten: Actionreiche Schlachten sind demnach ebenso möglich, wie taktische Rundenkämpfe mit Tiefgang.
Ein Interview mit der Producer von Dragon Age 2, Heather Rabatich.

Gameplanet: What was the biggest design lesson learned from Dragon Age: Origins?

Heather: I would say that would vary from person to person you ask at the studio. I think overall we have come down to two main things specifically: the art style was one. Origins was great in the sense that it had that traditional fantasy look but Dragon Age 2 isn’t a traditional fantasy game.

Of course its fantasy, but it is not that cluttered, mystical very generic looking game which is what we wanted to do for Origins, but for this game we wanted to step outside of that. If you are in a certain area we want you to feel like what you are fighting is from that area. We really wanted to make it seamless visually, improve the graphics and give the characters a stylization.

We also wanted to improve on the combat. We wanted to keep the game tactical, keep the game strategic but we wanted to make it so someone could pick up the game and play it and still feel like they were doing something purposeful. You can’t button mash through the game, you still need to think and I think that the statement “You fight like a Spartan but think like a General” fits.
We chat with lead designer Mike Laidlaw about one of the most anticipated sequels of 2011
With Dragon Age II, Bioware has adopted a character system similar to Mass Effect, placing the player in the role of Hawke. Why did you decide to focus on a pre-set character and what narrative advantages does this bring to the table?
Englisch PC-Games
Interview mit Greg Zeschuck und Ray Muzyka von Bioware auf der Gamescom 2010

Auf der Gamescom 2010 in Köln trafen wir unter anderem Greg Zeschuk und Ray Muzyka von Bioware. Um unsere Leser, die nicht selbst vor Ort sein können, ein wenig am Messetrubel teilhaben zu lassen, sammelten wir Ihre Fragen zu allen Themen rund um die Firma Bioware sowie die Bioware-Spiele. Vor Ort schlug dann der schon erwähnte Messetrubel grausam zu: Electronic Arts gestatte uns weniger Zeit als vereinbart - ein wahres Terminchaos. Wir haben dennoch unser möglichstes getan, um so viele Infos wie möglich zu Dragon Age: Origins und Dragon Age 2, Star Wars The Old Republic oder Mass Effect 3 zu sammeln.
Englisch InGenre
InGenre hat ein interessantes Interview mit David Gaider, dem Leadwriter von Dragon Age 2 führen können:

Zitat In Genre – How does it feel to be working at BioWare now, after the success of Dragon Age: Origins?

David Gaider – It feels wonderful. In a way, it feels like the success justified what we were aiming to do with Origins-fans sometime forget that RPG’s are often seen as a niche, especially ones that focus on story, and thus there was some apprehension whether the game would warrant the long development time that was put into it. Now that that’s been put to rest we can move onto the business of developing further this world we’ve created.
Englisch Examiner
David Gaider gab dem Examiner ein kurzes Interview auf der Pax. Unter anderem wird über das Storywriting, seine Inspiration und die Spielzeit von DA2 gesprochen.

Zitat Does it feel good to be writing 'in your own world' now? Will there be any more D&D based games from BioWare?

"We really enjoyed working on Baldur's Gate games and other D&D properties. I wrote parts of Baldur's Gate 2. But it's definitely nice being able to play in our own sandbox now and not having to worry about licensing or other issues when you play in someone else's."

How long do you think Dragon Age II will be in terms of hours of gameplay?

"That's a tough call. Definitely a bit shorter than the first game, but a lot of it depends on the player. We heard some players say they were able to plow through the original in around 20 hours, whereas others could spend upwards of 40, 50, or even 100 hours."
Englisch David Gaider beim Q&A auf PAX
David Gaider stellte sich heute dem Fragespiel(Q&A) bei PAX – per livestream auf Biowares Website – und zuckte mit den Augenbrauen während er einige heiße Fragen über die Fortsetzung zu Dragon Age: Origins beantwortete.

After starting out with an explanation of his Inception like dreams featuring his Dungeons and Dragons characters, Gaider--lead writer for the Dragon Age series--got down to business.

Poster Question/Comment: I'm deadly scared of the new dialogue system.

David Gaider: I can see how that’s a concern. The point is the interface doesn’t really change. In Origins there were six entries in any given dialogue. With the new interface it’s pretty much the same, just laid out differently. [Writer's note: The new system is similar to the Mass Effect series' dialogue wheel.]

Player VO [voice over] makes it different. Player VO has benefits. If we’re going to do a cinematic game it’s best to go all the way and let the person be a personality in the game…otherwise you end up as a silent participant.

We’re allowing you to craft a place in the story like your followers.
Ein Interview mit Ray Muzka zu Dragon Age 2

“But, given that he is a human in this universe, that’s just the way this particular chapter in the Dragon Age universe is built. It’s built around him being a human, and hence your choices are a little more constrained at the beginning, but on the other hand that enables us to do a lot more other cool things as well, in terms of the way the narrative flows, and the other party members that join with you are really cool and interesting and diverse.”
Ein kurzes Interview mit Ray Muzyka über Dragon Age 2.

"Es ist zwar festgelegt, dass er ein Mensch in seinem Universum ist, aber das ist nur die Art und Weise wie dieses Kapitel im Dragon Age Universum aufgebaut ist. Es baut darauf auf, dass er ein Mensch ist. Somit sind auch euere Auswahlmöglichkeiten am Anfang des Spiels begrenzt. Aber auf der anderen Seite ermöglicht uns dies, viele andere coole Sachen zu machen. Wie sich zum Beispiel die Geschichte entfaltet, aber auch die Party-Mitglieder, die zu euch stoßen, sind richtig cool und interessant und alle unterschiedlich.”
Deutsch Game Trust
Ray Muzyka, seines Zeichens Chef von BioWare, äußerte sich nun zu diesem Thema und stellte sich somit den Kritikern dieser Umstellung entgegen. Als Ausgleich für diese eingeschränkte Wahl zu Beginn wird es im Laufe des Spiels nämlich um ein vielfaches mehr Entscheidungsfreiheit geben, als es noch im ersten Teil der Fall war.
Englisch Dragon Age Wikia
And here's my interview with BioWare's Mike Laidlaw, lead designer of Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2. Thanks for submitting all the interesting questions!