Some of the juiciest “behind the scenes” looks at popular media don’t happen until well after release, when the creators are able to get some distance from the project in question. This appears to be the case with Dragon Age: Inquisition, an RPG that has some of the best sex scenes in all of video games.
Recently, BioWare narrative designer John Epler took to Twitter to share some “deep lore” about Dragon Age: Inquisition. The anecdotes began by peeling back the layers on a scene involving Iron Bull, a beloved character voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr. Fans may recall that the protagonist can sleep with Iron Bull, but the scene culminates by having your entire party walk in on you. It’s extremely funny, both due to good writing, but also because it’s realistic — sex is messy, and you can’t always keep it out of sight from other people.
According to Epler, the scene unfolds in a “dedicated sex tower” because BioWare created the bedroom with a staircase rather than a door. So far, pretty tame. But then Epler goes on to say that he intentionally placed a creepy painting on the wall so that it appeared to look at the player, who just had sex, “disapprovingly.” Somehow, despite watching this scene many times for work, I never noticed it until now. See the bald guy on the bottom right here? That’s him.
Better yet, apparently the art team at BioWare did catch this, and tried to fix it. Epler says that he got them to “revert it” back to its creepy state, however. Some things are just too important to let go.
But the hardest part of making that scene sing? It was making sure that the player didn’t see too much:
The hardest part of the Iron Bull afterglow scene was making sure Bull’s junk was properly covered in every shot.— John Epler (@eplerjc) October 9, 2019
Then Epler teased something that will probably get shippers and fanfic writers going wild:
Did Iron Bull at one point have lovingly detailed junk? pic.twitter.com/72w5EqsTS2— John Epler (@eplerjc) October 9, 2019
Epler went on to talk about various random tidbits about the development of various Dragon Age games and DLC over the years. It’s a fascinating look at how “messy and chaotic” it is to make a video game. Truly, it’s a miracle that video games exist at all.
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I think the scene from DAI with the worst effort-to-people-seeing-it ratio I worked on was when you hug Varric after leaving Hawke to die. Still worth it, even when it broke weekly.— John Epler (@eplerjc) October 9, 2019
More Mark of the Assassin - when Prosper’s guards surround you in the vault, I had to make it look like something you’d never fight your way out of due to overwhelming odds. I also had a hard character limit, so it’s like, six guys, looped repeatedly.— John Epler (@eplerjc) October 9, 2019
Oh right, the scene where Bull fights off the assassins had zero motion capture budgeted for it, so it is pieced together from something like 40 animations blended in-engine.— John Epler (@eplerjc) October 9, 2019