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Mass Effect 2 Hitting GDC In March

BioWare's first public showing of the RPG sequel will be a talk about improved level design accompanied by the game's first public images.

Also featured: Special performance by Wrex-N-Effect.
CMP's event schedule page for the next Game Developers Conference has a listing for a talk BioWare is giving at the conference in late March on level design in Mass Effect 2. Don't expect a big media blowout on the game--GDC is for people who make games, not people who want to play them--but nevertheless it will be the first major public showing of what's going to be a hugely anticipated RPG sequel, if the startling length and depth of our Mass Effect wiki is any indication.

Here's the pertinent panel description.

This session examines the BioWare Mass Effect team’s new level-creation process, which is focused on maximizing iteration for quality while minimizing rework and cost. This approach to building levels strives to integrate the Design, Art, and Production teams such that the highest-risk level-creation issues are addressed early in the development cycle. Lessons learned from Mass Effect lead to a detailed description of the new level-creation process, and graphical examples of a level illustrate its progression through the necessary phases. The discussion also examines how BioWare is currently implementing this process using elements of Scrum and Lean Development.

Attendees will: - Gain insight into some of the major issues the development team encountered while building Mass Effect at BioWare; - Get a detailed look at the Mass Effect team’s new approach to creating levels while avoiding these issues; - Find out how this new process is working for the Mass Effect team; - Learn about new pitfalls the team discovered that can potentially be avoided on future game projects.

"Graphical examples of a level" does imply some form of media will be shown. I loved the heck out of Mass Effect, and thought its repetitious level design was one of the few glaring flaws in an overall excellent experience. Man, it got old running around the same prefab planetary installations and retextured mountainous terrain over and over. Made me burn out on the side missions before I wanted to be done with them. From this description, it sounds like the BioWare team took that deficiency to heart and are working to address it. I can't wait to see what they've done so far.

Thanks to Gamezine for uncovering this one. Brad Shoemaker on Google+
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Posted by Brad
Also featured: Special performance by Wrex-N-Effect.
CMP's event schedule page for the next Game Developers Conference has a listing for a talk BioWare is giving at the conference in late March on level design in Mass Effect 2. Don't expect a big media blowout on the game--GDC is for people who make games, not people who want to play them--but nevertheless it will be the first major public showing of what's going to be a hugely anticipated RPG sequel, if the startling length and depth of our Mass Effect wiki is any indication.

Here's the pertinent panel description.

This session examines the BioWare Mass Effect team’s new level-creation process, which is focused on maximizing iteration for quality while minimizing rework and cost. This approach to building levels strives to integrate the Design, Art, and Production teams such that the highest-risk level-creation issues are addressed early in the development cycle. Lessons learned from Mass Effect lead to a detailed description of the new level-creation process, and graphical examples of a level illustrate its progression through the necessary phases. The discussion also examines how BioWare is currently implementing this process using elements of Scrum and Lean Development.

Attendees will: - Gain insight into some of the major issues the development team encountered while building Mass Effect at BioWare; - Get a detailed look at the Mass Effect team’s new approach to creating levels while avoiding these issues; - Find out how this new process is working for the Mass Effect team; - Learn about new pitfalls the team discovered that can potentially be avoided on future game projects.

"Graphical examples of a level" does imply some form of media will be shown. I loved the heck out of Mass Effect, and thought its repetitious level design was one of the few glaring flaws in an overall excellent experience. Man, it got old running around the same prefab planetary installations and retextured mountainous terrain over and over. Made me burn out on the side missions before I wanted to be done with them. From this description, it sounds like the BioWare team took that deficiency to heart and are working to address it. I can't wait to see what they've done so far.

Thanks to Gamezine for uncovering this one.
Staff
Posted by DragoonKain1687

Weee ME 2. Loved the first.

Posted by PocketfullaButtholes

Interesting...we'll see how it turns out.  I played ME to death...

Posted by CapnCloudchaser

Whoo, finally something to get excited about for 2009!

Posted by End_Boss

How odd that just yesterday I posted a topic that talked about Mass Effect.
This evidence is irrefutable.
I am the catalyst for the future.

Posted by TekZero

Damn, already?  I gotta get my guy up to level 60 and then get an evil guy up to level 60.  That's at least 3 more playthroughs.

Posted by Alphazero

SPOILER

But if you haven't played it yet, you should.


Using speech skills to talk Wrex down instead of having to shoot him was a very powerful RPG moment. Loved it.

Posted by musdy

it's about time!!!

Posted by TekZero

I've given this alot of thought.  Bioware said that decisions made in the first game will carry over in the trilogy.  Mass Effect was made so that there really aren't that many decisions that can actually have an affect on the next few games... (SPOILERS TO FOLLOW)



1. Wrex dies, or is saved
2. The council dies and who do you put in charge
3. The council live and who do you put in charge.

It's totally possible that the second game in the series will be drastically different with a different character and different choices.  Which is why I intend on having 2 characters; 1 good and 1 bad.  That way I can play the second game with different choices and hopefully different storylines. 

I'm looking forward to this game.

Posted by ZombiePie

Well lets see if the Mass Effect team can fix all of the quirks and bugs from the last Mass Effect. I have to say though I am excited about this game.

Moderator
Posted by BiggerBomb

Tek, did you happen to play KOTOR II? Throughout the game, your character is asked questions here and there that indicate which choices you made in the original KOTOR. I imagine Bioware will do the same for Mass Effect 2.

Edited by Ghostin

Heh that's got to be a calculated move... the first real Bioware dialogue is that they are improving the level design.

I really hope Bioware dials back the PR from 11 this year... some of it for Mass Effect was so close to outright lies it was unreal.

(I enjoyed the game, just not the spin)

Posted by LegioXIII

Damn it! Now I need to actually play Mass Effect 1.

Posted by JoelTGM

I could never get into Mass Effect... won't bother with #2 either.

Posted by TekZero
BiggerBomb said:
"Tek, did you happen to play KOTOR II? Throughout the game, your character is asked questions here and there that indicate which choices you made in the original KOTOR. I imagine Bioware will do the same for Mass Effect 2."

Yeah, that's true.  But I thought that was the cheap way out.  I guess it all depends on how much time passes between ME 1 and 2.  If it's like 2 years or something, then there better not be dialogue based.  I mean you can potentially change the entire personel of the galactic government.  If someone comes up to you and asks "Who did you put in charge of the universe again?" I'll be a little dissappointed.

On the other hand, if more than like 10-20 years separates the 2 games, then I can understand the dialogue questions.   But if that happens, then will you still play as Shepard?
Posted by Death_Unicorn

OMG OMG OMG
Now I cant wait till GDC.
I've been waiting for this moment since I finished Mass Effect.
Its about freakin time.

Posted by Gearhead

The real question remains, who will publish this game, and will it be multiplatform? I think EA will, but Microsoft will pay a pretty penny to make sure that it stays on Xbox. But then again, Bioware has not programmed a game for any Sony console.

Posted by MigElite

!! Can't wait!!!

Posted by Leadcat

Amazing news. I absolutely loved ME. :D

Posted by HeLives

Yes, if Bioware can liven up the side planets, or eliminate iterative planets and increase the number and focus of main planets, ME2 will be everything we enjoyed from ME and more.  I can't wait.  I'll 3 characters to choose from when I start.

Posted by wefwefasdf

Yeah! I love the first!

Posted by Balaamsafe

on ps3?

Posted by Callumrides

awsome im up for round 2 of mass effect

Posted by PJ

@ TakZero - ME2 will just probebly take the save game of ME and then look at how you choose to play it. Penny Arcade Ep2 did it so why cant a high budget  triple A title do the same?

Also I wonder if it will come to the PS3? I think that if BioWare has as much freedom as EA say they have then it will most likely not come to the PS3 since BioWare wants to connect the games in a way that wouldn't really be possible on the PS3 since the PS3 owners wouldn't know what has happened  in the game. Also BioWare said as much when they were bought that if possible Mass Effect will continue as a 360 exclusive.
Also since the economy is blown to shit i dont think it will be a good idea to make a PS3 version of ME2 since it will not sell that much. I mean that since they haven't been able to play the first one it would be stupid to jump into a thrillogy whitout knowing the begining of the story or the backstory of the characters since they will not explane everything again in ME2... i hope.

Posted by myketuna

All I wanna do is zoom-zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom
Just shake your rump
All I wanna do is zoom-zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom
Just shake your rump.

Dude, Wrex rapping that entire song should be in the ME2 credits. I demand it.

Posted by TekZero

PJ, if you don't have a 360.. you could always play it on the PC.


And I have high hopes for ME 2.  I just hope they are not that high.

Posted by CitizenKane
Posted by Meowayne
This session examines the BioWare Mass Effect team’s new level-creation process, which is focused on maximizing iteration for quality while minimizing rework and cost. This approach to building levels strives to integrate the Design, Art, and Production teams such that the highest-risk level-creation issues are addressed early in the development cycle.

Ugh. Translation: To do away with the need to invest time and creativity in level design, we maximized the use of generators and automated design. Our new technology makes this 10% less noticable than in the previous game.





I want prerendered backgrounds back. : /

Posted by borgmaster

I want ME 2 already....and wrex is awesome, just putting that out there.

Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

I've played through ME as a good character & visited every goddamn planetary surface it had, including the expansion.  I'm only about 1/3rd of the way through the game as EVIL, I'm using the same character also. Oddly enough, even when you can blow right through each of the primary missions, it still takes a long time to get through them.

Posted by Pibo47

YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES YES YES YES YES!!! OMG i love ME sooo much i connot wait for this. This is almost as good as gears 2 or l4d, even the new riddick game!

Posted by AndrewB

A pleasant surprise. I loved the first game, and was sort of afraid they wouldn't revisit Mass Effect again for awhile. Then again, with the amount of time Bioware spent building a universe and history, I'm sure they couldn't wait to do a sequel, and couldn't afford not to right away.

Posted by bcfish

God it's about time!  I am already impatient for #2!  Thank you Bioware, and you too Brad for finding this gem!

Posted by RawShark

With the possibility of interconnected sequels, playing with the same character through all of them, I reckon the Mass Effect trilogy has the potential to give the biggest ever "EPIC SATSIFACTION FEELING" at the end. I mean, playing the same character you made in Mass Effect 1 through at least the 6-7 years it'll be before all the games are released? Oh man.

Posted by TheBill1979

I've been waiting a long time just to hear a tiny bit of news about this game. Looking forward to March!

Posted by Venatio

Damn I REALLY want Mass Effect 2, the first one is my favorite RPG

Its probably gonna be awesome

Posted by dsplayer1010

I still never played the first one :(

Posted by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497

So the waiting game begins. Man I really hope it comes out in '09.

Posted by DukeTogo

About time something was mentioned about this game.  I was fearing it somehow didn't sell enough to warrant a sequel.  I'm guessing we won't see it until 2010 given we've seen and heard more of Dragon Age and the MMO than this.

Posted by Daz0608

Loved the first game, can't wait!

Posted by Bulldog19892

\m/ \m/ \m/.

That's right, Mass Effect makes me so happy now that I grew another hand.

Posted by RHCPfan24

Mass Effect 2 will hopefully be awesome.  I loved the first, but had the same problems as Brad with the side missions.

Posted by ElectricHaggis

I finished my second playthrough of Mass Effect recently so I'll be pleased to find out whatever I can about what they have in store for the sequel.

Posted by giyanks22

"1. Wrex dies, or is saved
2. The council dies and who do you put in charge
3. The council live and who do you put in charge.

It's totally possible that the second game in the series will be drastically different with a different character and different choices.  Which is why I intend on having 2 characters; 1 good and 1 bad.  That way I can play the second game with different choices and hopefully different storylines. 

I'm looking forward to this game."

Also your love life relationship.
Whether Kadien lives or Ashley lives.
and your relationship with Senator Urbina (or whatever the fuck his name is), since you can choose whether to have Captain Anderson own him or not.

This is going to be awesome.

I hope this makes it out in 2009.

I said this in Nov. of 08, that 09 will be a really great year for gaming, and this is proof.
Posted by ImperiousRix

Can't wait til this game comes out.  Especially since I'm hearing that it's going to take your Mass Effect saves and continue the story from how you played the first.
I'm looking forward to the continuing adventures of German Shepard and his crew on the SS Normandy.

Posted by Rayfield

Loved Mass Effect.

Looking forward to Mass Effect 2.

Posted by TomA

And just a few mere hours before this was announced I answered today's question on the forum saying Mass Effect 2 will be announced this year.

Posted by jiggy7tas

Finally some news on ME 2!

Posted by Woffls

This is officially my most anticipated game at the moment.

Mass Effect would have been my 2007 goty by astronomical (lolrite?) measures if it weren't for Mario Galaxy. I'm playing it for the 6th time and still enjoy it immensely because of the difficulty levels being well pitched.

Posted by Jayzilla

Was it me, or did the buildings on every planet of the original Mass Effect have the EXACT same layout every time? And was the terrain exactly the same too?

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