The first screenshot of Dragon Age 3: Inquisition was revealed yesterday during a talk held by BioWare art and animation director Neil Thompson during the Bradford Animation Festival, Eurogamer reports.
The image was only shown briefly to demonstrate the evolution of game art stemming from retro title Space Invaders to Mass Effect 3, then finally the upcoming installment of Dragon Age. It was photographed by one attendee and posted on the official BioWare forum.
"That is Dragon Age: Inquisition," said Thompson. "It's the first time anyone has seen a frame of it outside BioWare studios."
Thompson described the affect of the Frostbite 2.0 engine on the design of the upcoming title, acknowledging that Eclipse — the earlier proprietary engine used in the development of Dragon Age 2 — was "starting to creak a little bit by the time that was released."
"Obviously Frostbite is the Battlefield engine built by DICE. It's a beautiful, beautiful engine. And what we've found is an improvement with DA3, is the artists who were really battling with the Eclipse engine have just embraced Frostbite. The work they're doing now is stunning.
"I think the screenshot I showed earlier is pretty stunning. That's unusual for pre-production. Usually you don't get to that kind of quality until a week before gold master."
Dragon Age 3: Inquisition is scheduled to launch fall 2013. Last month it was revealed Inquisition will be much larger than any of the previous series titles, with one level in Dragon Age 3 said to be as big as all levels in Dragon Age 2. Players will take on the role of human characters; However, their personal backgrounds will impact the story significantly. Customization will also be a bigger focus this time.