Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dragon Age

What an exciting weekend. Bioware's Dragon Age had it's release date on the 5th here in Europe so I had reserved some time to look at the game and the toolkit they planned to release as well. Unfortunately EA messed up the release so I had to wait for the 3rd shipping ( first one was called back from the shops because they had not put on copy protection, second round had a non working German installation on it) of the game DVD to hit the shops. Lucky those who downloaded the game or could get one of the rare CE version that were ok. Even worse, at the release day the toolset was not available and it was not sure when it will be released. But EA and Bioware worked hard and I got the game the next day and the toolkit was online some hours later. So I had the chance to play the game to get my first impression on gameplay and machinima cinematics. And read through the toolset documentation wiki before installing the toolset. You need to have the game installed and registered at Bioware's Social Network and unfortunately have to register there to access the wiki:

Dragon Age Toolset Download

Dragon Age Toolset Wiki
Dragon Age Toolset Forum
Steam Version Workaround

I really enjoyed playing the game. I still have to get adjusted to the gameplay and to switch to the more strategic way of gameplay during combat. Combat is tough and I guess I have to switch to eas-mode to proceed further. The game is heavy on conversations, which is a good thing that it gets you involved into the story, but for me it could be less. The story draws you in and you really get emotionally connected to some characters during the game. Storytelling is superb.
Cinematics are amazing and some of the best I've seen so far. I'm still not sure if all of them the are ingame real-time cinematics. No wonder the team of Cinematic Designer leaded by Ken Thain has some of the best machinima filmmakers in it. Most of them worked on the excellent Mass Effect before. Now I'll have a look at the toolset and see how easy or tough it is to create machinima films with it. From the documenation it sounds very promising.
Any one else on Dragon Age? I'll keep you updated.


  1. I'm enjoying playing DA as well. You are right about the conversations. I'm also having trouble in some of the fights, but I'm taking my time and reading up on everything so I'll have a better understanding of tactics. Downloaded the toolkit, but haven't used them yet. Thanks for the links, CD.

    The cutscenes in the game are primarily shot inside of the game itself. I think the storming of Ostegard may have had some extra work done in 3D Studio. hard to tell.


  2. Found the diretory with some prerenderd cutscenes.
    I wish to know if they were as well doen with the toolset or if any other tools were used. For sure that excellent Ostregard battle has to be prerendered. No chnance this would run real-time on my hardware. I would love to talk to the Bioware cinematics team about how their work on cutscenes and the toolset to learn more.