An open letter from Mark Darrah, Executive Producer
We are going to do things a little differently today. Some of you may not know who I am so to start out, I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself.
I joined BioWare in May of 1997 making this year my 15th year with the Company (So, old…). I am a programmer by training and implemented the AI, scripting, and combat systems in Baldur’s Gate. After that, I moved into a lead programmer role on Tales of the Sword Coast, BG2, and Throne of Bhaal. I kept my hands dirty during this time; you have me to blame for the wild mage.
After the Baldur’s Gate series, I was the lead programmer on Jade Empire, though I made a brief detour to implement the first version of the DM client in Neverwinter Nights.
Then through a weird series of un-relatable stories, I ended up on BioWare’s handheld title Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. I started out as Lead Programmer and finished in charge of the project. Along the way I managed to write a scripting language somehow WORSE than the one in BG, yet at the same time coded a stats system that I am VERY proud of. Fundamentally, the core achievement was that you could not die after you had already; it’s surprising how hard that can be to ensure, sometimes.
Finally I moved over to the Dragon Age franchise. I have been the Executive Producer since just before Dragon Age: Origins shipped.
I am part of an active D&D campaign, love collecting pen and paper stuff and like walks on the beach.
Actually I don’t like walks on the beach, too smooshy.
Okay, enough about me, why have I called you all here today?
I am pleased to confirm that we are, in fact, working on the next Dragon Age game. Not a big surprise to most of you, I know. We have been working on it in some way for about two years now with the bulk of our efforts ramping up about 18 months ago.
Part of that effort has involved you, our fans, and the feedback you’ve provided for Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and their DLC. We’ve visited message boards, read reviews, and we’ve gone to events to have direct face to face conversations with some of our most passionate fans. We’ve been listening, and we will continue to listen.
Recently, I said that we didn’t want to talk about Dragon Age III unless we had something to show. I’m trying to stick to that plan and won’t be revealing much today. That said, a lot of information and rumors have surfaced recently and we don’t want to hide from them. There are a BUNCH of things that I really want to share with you but I want to do this right, and doing it right requires some more time.
So here’s what I can confirm for now:
- The next game will be called Dragon Age III: Inquisition.
- We won’t be talking about the story of the game today. Though you can make some guesses from the title.
- This game is being made by a lot of the same team that has been working on Dragon Age since Dragon Age: Origins. It’s composed of both experienced BioWare veterans and talented new developers.
- We are working on a new engine which we believe will allow us to deliver a more expansive world, better visuals, more reactivity to player choices, and more customization. At PAX East, we talked about armor and followers… Yeah, that kind of customization. We’ve started with Frostbite 2 from DICE as a foundation to accomplish this.
There’s much more to talk about, of course, but it will have to wait until it’s ready for the prime time.
We are going to be as open as we can. We will continue to have a dialogue with you and answer what questions we can. Keep providing us with your feedback. I’m excited about what we are working on and I hope that you will be too. I know this is going to be hard to believe, but it is just as hard for me not to tell you stuff as it is for you to wait.
With thanks for your enthusiasm, and your patience,