Mass Effect's already one of the biggest game series in the galaxy; it
has the moral choices, it has the top-notch blasting - all it's missing
is multiplayer.... until now.
Turns out the agonising delay BioWare announced earlier this year hasn't been in vain - we're soon going to be able to leap into ME3 with three pals for amazing online adventures! Creative Director Casey Hudson was on hand to tell us more...
Tell us a little about the recently announced multiplayer...
A Multiplayer is about kind of following orders as Special Forces guys. The mechanics are only partially there right now, but there will be a procedural narrative to the way that you experience things, so you set up a multiplayer match, and once you go in it a cutscene shows you how your team are inserted into a facility.
You can see the guys that are holding it take off in the shuttle... now it's yours for a while. As you're battling you engage a variety of enemies that are there for a specific reason, you're presented with specific objectives - either you're able to complete them or you're not - and then at the end you get pulled out and another team relieves you, and then can see how you did in the mission breakdown.
Where do you get your writing talent from?
Well one trick is that they have to be here, they have to be full time, interactive writers, they have to develop a very specific skill set at BioWare that you can't really hone elsewhere, because our stories are interactive.
It's such a unique skillset to write a scene that has dialogue that branches off like crazy. Fortunately, there are some really talented writers that have worked in television and movies that are here to take on that challenge...
Do you have any critical control over the writing yourself?
Absolutely. It starts with the lead writer, lead designer and I working out what kind of story it is, and then we start breaking it into specific acts, and really start shaping it, and that's where I'm really involved with the lead writer.
So the Mass Effect universe is a long term thing, even though Shepard's adventure is ending?
There's a lot of possibilities - we're obviously pretty focused on ME3, but we know that people are going to want another ME game, and there are lots of different things we can do.
There are now technologies coming out for platforms, different ways in which people will be distributing games in the next generation, so all of that is congealing. We don't have specific plans yet, but we know that we're going to do something.
How is partnering with EA helping BioWare?
A lot of people might assume that the way that EA might be an influence on BioWare would stem from a purely executive level, but that's untrue. You might expect some collaboration with [developers] DICE (to do with sound) for example, but in terms of online features we liaised with the Need For Speed guys. Working with teams like that is as easy as making a phone call!
Any idea for settings for future BioWare intellectual properties?
When that game was announced lots of people were like: "Mass Effect with secret agents - cool!" I think there's a certain expectation about the way we make games - the BioWare experience, only in different settings - and it's compelling. But that's definitely getting way ahead of where we are at this point...
Order Games Master here and have it delivered straight to your door