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Platform 360, Win, PS3 Publisher Microsoft Game Studios Developer BioWare Release Date 11/20/2007

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Meet the people improving video games one line at a time

Every line of dialog the player chooses to speak, every character the player romances, every character the player doesn't romance, every encounter they have, every encounter they don't have — these details are carefully noted so the game can respond to the player's actions accordingly. Players of the Mass Effect series will often refer to their avatar Commander Shepard as "My Shepard," a testament to the care the developers put into making players feel invested in their character. But it takes more than care to pull together an elaborate story that draws players into the game and keeps them there. Video games are often made by teams of writers, designers, programmers, artists and producers, but there's an important role that is often over-looked, forgotten and, in some studios,...

News
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Bioware explores Dragon Age and Mass Effect at this year's PAX East

Bioware's PAX East schedule is live, with weekend-long panels on Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises, developer signings and industry representatives discussing how to break into the games industry. This year's panels will include "Behind the Scenes: Getting A Job at Bioware," "From Relay to Relay: Exploring the Mass Effect Universe" and "Dragon Age Inquisition: The Open World of Thedas". A number of developers and staff from Bioware will be in attendance this year, including Mass Effect writer Cathleen Rootsaert, Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw and community manager Jessica Merizan. Details of the full PAX 2014 schedule of panels, events, tournaments and other special sessions can be viewed in full here. You can view the BioWare schedule below. Events kick off at 10...

Culture
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GDC 2014 sessions now available to watch online

A number of 2014 Game Developers Conference sessions are live and free to watch via the GDC Vault. Those interested are free to browse by session category, such as audio, visual arts, serious games, programming, game narrative and more. GDC 2014 sessions available include a Classic Game Postmortem talk from Eugene Jarvis (Robotron: 2084), along with Peter Molyneux's session "From AAA to Indie: The Rebirth of Design" and Xbox's Phil Spencer's Fireside Chat. Mass Effect developer Manveer Heir's talk on eliminating social injustice from games and the second #1ReasonToBe panel from the Advocacy Track are also available. While a selection of sessions are marked for GDC members only, a large number of talks and panels are free to view. Presentations from past conferences have also...

Opinion
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Gaming is my safe space: Gender options are important for the transgender community

There were fewer games with female protagonists or the option to play as a female character a decade ago, but I took what I could get. I know I spent a lot of time playing the original Tomb Raider series, Knights of the Old Republic, Metroid Prime, Beyond Good and Evil and others. I’m by no means alone in the trans* community for escaping to the virtual world. The virtual world is one of very few places we can safely escape to be ourselves. It’s where we can create an avatar that represents how we see ourselves. I’ve played since the original NES days and have owned almost every console since. I started with the original Super Mario Bros. and never looked back. Since then, there have been many great games; some that have made me cry, some that have made me shout four letter...

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BioWare internally discussed remastered Mass Effect games for next-gen consoles

BioWare developers have internally discussed the possibility of bringing the original Mass Effect trilogy to next-gen consoles with remastered editions, according to a tweet from Edmonton and Montreal studios' general manager Aaryn Flynn. Responding to a fan question on Twitter, Flynn said solid plans for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of 2007's Mass Effect, 2010's Mass Effect 2 and 2012 finale Mass Effect 3 have yet to form, but BioWare will share details when possible. "We have discussed that internally," Flynn wrote of a trilogy remastery. "If we can put solid plans together we'll share. Great to hear you're keen." Polygon has reached out to Flynn and BioWare for more details and will share them as they are received. The original Mass Effect was initially published...

Culture
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Video games won't feature gay protagonists 'for a while,' says Far Cry 3 writer Lucien Soulban

The introduction of gay protagonists in AAA video games won't be "for a while," according to Ubisoft Montreal lead writer Lucien Soulban in an interview posted on the official Ubisoft blog. Soulban, whose work includes scripting Far Cry 3, notes that while game franchises like Mass Effect and Fable offer users the option to seek out relationships with the same sex, the current sales and marketing systems are the primary barrier to entry for the creation of gay protagonists in large-scale games. "...when are we going to see that gay protagonist in a AAA game?" asked Soulban in response to a question posted on the website. "Not for a while, I suspect, because of fears that it'll impact sales. "So either we'll see a bait-and-switch like the original Metroid with Samus Aran where we'll...

Good Game
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Why video games can make for great comics (and vice versa)

Earlier this month at New York Comic Con, fans had a chance to check out a plethora of video game-inspired comics and comic-inspired video games from The Walking Dead to Mass Effect to Marvels' many creations. While video games rely on cutting edge technology to deliver their virtual environments, comics fall back on the most ancient of art forms, but the people who work in both mediums say each have their own unique strengths and even some similarities. "The process of building game story outlines for comics is a lot like building a story in video games," said Halo franchise development director Frank O'Connor. Even the end result sometimes, he said, can be very similar. Where some video games will cut down on the chatter to push players directly into action scenes, comics also make...

New York Comic Con 2013
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More Mass Effect tie-in comics, Illusive Man stories could happen

BioWare may continue to create comic book tie-ins for the Mass Effect universe for the currently in-development fourth game in the series, according to writer Mac Walters — as well as more stories focused on a certain Cerberus leader. "I could write stories about the Illusive Man forever," Walters told Polygon in an interview. "I love his character and his moral ambiguity. You kind of want to root for him, and yet, you kind of want him dead. That's a character I could always write for. "Aria's another one. She's fascinating — she's tough and ruthless, and you want to route for her despite all the bad things," he added. "We could do like an Aria-Breaking Bad mashup, or something like that." Walters said he's currently focused on the Foundation series of Mass Effect comics, but as...

News
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Why writing a Mass Effect screenplay is so difficult

Adapting Mass Effect for the silver screen was so difficult that it will probably be the last video game adaption Mark Protosevich tries, the screenwriter told Badass Digest. Protosevich, whose credits include I Am Legend and Thor, found adapting the first game in the trilogy too difficult because of the science fiction universe's very nature. "It was the first game adaptation I did and it will probably be the only one," Protosevich said. "They're hard. I will freely admit it was hard. Because — especially with Mass Effect — there's just so much material. Narratively, with the game, you're talking about nine, 10 hours of narrative you're jamming into two hours." Protosevich said he wrote "a couple of drafts" before Legendary Pictures brought in a new screenwriter. Last year, L...

News
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Mass Effect Mash-up Pack coming to Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition

The first "Mash-up Pack" DLC for Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition features a theme based on the Mass Effect franchise and will be available on Sept. 4 for 320 Microsoft Points (approximately $3.99), Mojang, BioWare and Microsoft announced today. Developed by 4J Studios, the Mass Effect Mash-up Pack features the Mars Facility from Mass Effect 3 and 22 songs from the game's soundtrack. The DLC also includes Mass Effect-themed textures, items, menus, user interface and 36 character skins. It was announced during Microsoft's E3 2013 press conference that the open-world crafting game will launch on Microsoft's Xbox One as Minecraft Xbox One Edition. The game's developer 4J Studios is in discussion with Microsoft Studios to allow Xbox 360 save files to transfer to Xbox One consoles.

Mass Effect Releases
North America
  • Xbox 360
    • Released 11/20/2007
    • Publisher Microsoft Game Studios
    • Developer BioWare
  • Windows
    • Released 05/28/2008
    • Publisher Electronic Arts
    • Developer BioWare
  • PlayStation 3
    • Released 12/31/2012
    • Publisher Electronic Arts
    • Developer BioWare
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