Despite the name, Bioware wasn’t sure that Dragon Age Origins would get a sequel. Why name it Origins if you don’t think there will be a progression, right? Well, they weren’t sure that high fantasy would be convincing and enjoyable to fans the way that it was. In fact, some of their lack of planning for the future came back to bite them.
Chatting to the guys on Canadian radio, David Gaider explained the reasoning behind the epilogue slides in Dragon Age: Origins, and why it probably wasn’t the best idea in the long run.
Well, the Dragon Age: Origins epilogue existed because initially I don’t know that we were certain we would get a second game. Ideally, we were hoping that we would put out Dragon Age: Origins and it would be successful. We didn’t know. So, the epilogue came late in the game, and it was something we had done previously. At the time it was the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate. And we had the epilogue slides at the end of Baldur’s Gate, so that seemed like an appropriate thing. And what happened to these characters?
Because we’d also cut so many things, there was a lot threads left were dangling. So it was like, oh, it’d be kind of neat if we had, you know, at the end of a movie where as the credits are going on you can see, oh, so and so went on to go to college, and then robbed a bank, and, oh, neat. So, to tie up those threads and give the players sense of how this plot that they had spent so much time with, how it had continued on so they could imagine it in their head.
I think ultimately I came to regret exactly how we had done that. Because the epilogues were put together very quickly and some of them cast so far into the future that, okay, now we are doing the sequel and it takes place two years into the future or whatever. And it’s like, we’re trying to have a plot and we’re trying to have some call backs, yet there are things that were forecast that went so far ahead that now we’re contradicting it. Can we honor those all? Here we have a plot which works in every facet expect for this one epilogue slide. And it’s like, god dammit, past Dave! Why did you write that?
It’s such a tricky line for developers to walk. On the one hand, they need to give complete experiences in the games that they ship – you never know if there will be a sequel or not and to plan on having the opportunity to tie up lose ends down the line just isn’t always the best course of action. Then again, making all kinds of sweeping statements in an epilogue might just work out as a negative in the long run if your title is successful and you’re able to explore the story more.
At least it all worked out in the end for Bioware, right? Dragon Age II might not have done well, but Dragon Age: Inquisition got nearly universal praise and we can all assume there will be another Dragon Age announced once they ship Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Last Updated: June 30, 2015
Alien Emperor Trevor
June 30, 2015 at 13:38
Oh damn that sucks, if only they’d known they’d be able to make a sequel up front then they wouldn’t have had to make a satisfying ending to the game. And then having to make the sequel tie up to the first game, ugh!
June 30, 2015 at 13:52
Well now, if excluding an awesome epilogue so that you can sequel bait is a good thing, well then it’d be a good idea, but as far as sequel baiting goes, we all like a complete product, it’s not like any of us go to a garage and say, “so do you think they’ll finish the rest of my car when they release the sequel?” epilogues are like the final touches on a car, I was staring at the stitching of a ferrari this weekend, had it been done with one piece looking skew or not in the right place, you’d be staring at it the whole time, same here, if it doesn’t tie in with the new story then “you did a poor job in implementing radco von testes story, you suck!” where the issue is really not that big… It’s just a focal point because someone bow highlighted it…
Ghost In The Rift
June 30, 2015 at 14:47
So they never discussed blue/green/red epilogue slides?
June 30, 2015 at 15:08
“Mass Effect: Andromeda” – did I miss something while I was touring and laying on the beaches? Oh drat I missed all the E3 action!!!
June 30, 2015 at 17:28
“And it’s like, God dammit, past Dave! why did you write that?”
Hahahahahaha. I know this feeling all too well. If only past Batpanda could hear my shouts of warning. But alas. Only the walls hear the screams of frustration as I realise that a decision I made sixteen hours ago in Witcher 3 resulted in THAT particular brand of BURN IT WITH FIRE!
June 30, 2015 at 20:04
Here’s the actual interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMelg8VVnac